Immigration attorney talks to DACA recipients at WSU Tri-Cities

Immigration attorney talks to DACA recipients at WSU Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. - The Tri-Cities Immigrant Coalition and Washington State University Tri-Cities hosted a forum for students and their concerned teachers Monday. They met with immigration attorney Eamonn Roach of Pasco to review what happens now that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is on its way out.

Roach answered questions from students worried about their future in the United States.

Students who said they're trying to figure out how to make this work. Legally.

Earlier this month Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson called President Trump's announcement 'outrageous' and announced his own lawsuit against the Trump administration,

"It's not right. And as Attorney General for the State of Washington I fortunately have a hammer. It's the law."

Action News followed up with the Attorney General today. Ferguson said putting Washington's nearly 18,000 Dreamers at risk of deportation is cruel and wrong,

"I want Dreamers to know they are not alone. A growing coalition is rising up to defend them. I've been joined by 15 attorneys general so far. I will do everything in my power to ensure they can continue to feel secure in what is for many of them the only home they have ever known."

Still, lawmakers admit DACA is an issue and needs to be fixed.

In a statement earlier this month, Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., said,

"President Obama's unilateral executive action was never the long-term answer, which is why Congress must now act to protect children brought here through no fault of their own."

Today's forum gave students like Maria Torres a chance to talk to someone who already knows the laws.

Torres said she came to the Tri-Cities from Mexico when she was just five,

"As a 5 year old you follow your parents wherever you go. I don't remember anything from Mexico. I only remember here. Washington State is where I grew up."

Torres is studying to be a mechanical engineer and hopes to go on to get her Masters Degree,

"I know what this would mean to me and a lot of students to continue to work and reach our goals without having this fear of deportation."

She said if DACA isn't replaced she'll lose her job which she needs to be able to afford school,

"At this point its like 'well where do we go if the worst were to happen?' I know nothing but the United States. I grew up here, this is my home."

At today's forum Torres was able to talk to Roach but said she still has a lot of questions.

Attorney General Ferguson's office said a press conference to update the status of the lawsuit is scheduled for Sept. 26.

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