Activists rally for clean DACA bill outside Rep. Engel’s office

Posted: Updated:

Activists rallied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Riverdale Thursday, demanding Congress protect the so-called Dreamers with new legislation.

As News 12 has reported, President Donald Trump will end protection for DACA recipients beginning next month. They are immigrants who were brought to the United States unlawfully as children.

MORE: Activist recalls growing up undocumented

About 100 people rallied in the cold outside Rep. Eliot Engel's office to demand a pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers, many of whom have no recollection of life outside the U.S.

One of them, who gave her name only as Maria, says she came to America from Mexico before her first birthday.

"I was raised here my entire life," she says. 

Now she attends Lehman College, where she studies business administration.

Among the ralliers was Tereza Lee, who is widely considered to be the first Dreamer. That's because she inspired the Dream Act, a failed piece of legislation that would have given people like her a pathway to citizenship.

"I realized we didn't have any rights in this country, so I decided I need to do something to help," she says.

Although she has gained citizenship for herself through marriage, she says she worries that people with similar backgrounds may just get kicked out of the country.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."