Congressman Meets with DACA Recipients As Deadline Looms

Feb 20, 2018

 

Milenia (right) and Giancarla (left) Rojas speak with Congressman Donald McEachin about their experiences as DACA recipients.
Credit Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIOIQ

 

Richmond-area Congressman Donald McEachin met with Virginians who benefit from the DACA program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. If Congress doesn’t act soon, the program could end.

 

Milenia Rojas is a senior in highschool. Next year she’s studying engineering at University of Rochester, on a full ride.

But for Rojas, who was born in Bolivia and is a DACA recipient, there’s a fear looming over that college decision.

“The University of Rochester is in a border town between Canada and New York,” Rojas told the Congressman Tuesday. “And just right outside of it there’s a bunch of border patrol and ICE agents. So I’m scared that once my DACA expires I might get deported.”

That also scares her older sister, Giancarla.

“When my dad left at the age of seven he told me make sure to take care of your sister, she is your daughter. Please protect her. And now I honestly feel powerless,” Rojas teared up, and rubbed her sister’s shoulder.

Congressman Donald McEachin says he thinks a straightforward expansion of DACA could pass the House of Representatives if it ever makes it to the floor.

“You know I don’t have that crystal ball but I am the eternal optimist, so I believe that we will get there,” he said.

Instead, Congress looks likely to vote this week on a bill being proposed by immigration hardliner, Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte. It would give DACA recipients temporary renewable legal status, but not citizenship.