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ENC dreamers feeling hopeful under more pro-immigrant president

In his first day, Pres. Biden signed several immigration-related executive orders largely reversing on Pres. Trump’s stances.
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 7:27 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - It’s been years since Jesus Gallardo has been to his native country of Mexico.

21-years-old now, he moved to Greenville with his family when he was just two-years-old. He only remembers North Carolina as his home.

“We’re trying to step up and see what we’re made out of,” said Gallardo. “We’re trying to make our parents proud.”

Gallardo is a dreamer, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, better known as DACA. It’s an Obama-era program giving protections to children of undocumented immigrants.

It’s been Juvencio Rocha-Peralta’s life’s work to keep programs like it alive.

“It leaves a good taste for the organization and leadership of people who advocate for immigrant rights,” said Rocha-Peralta, the executive director for AMEXCAN, a group advocating for immigrants. “It’s been too long. It’s time to have a better comprehensive immigration system.”

The program has a much safer home in the Biden White House. During his first few hours in The Oval Office, the new president signed several immigration-related executive orders, including halting construction on the border wall, an eight-year path to citizenship, and an end to attempts to overturn DACA.

“I was disappointed,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) “To see within hours of assuming office, the new administration was more interested in helping illegal immigrants than its own citizens.”

Congressional Republicans have backed Pres. Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to repeal the program going up to the Supreme Court.

“It’s been a rollercoaster,” said Gallardo. “Lots of ups, lots of downs. Hopefully, DACA and the dreamers will make a difference in this country.”

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