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Border & Immigration

Rally In City Heights Supports Young Immigrants Rights

People gather outside the City Heights Performance Annex for a rally supporting immigrants rights, Jan. 19, 2018.
Matt Hoffman/KPBS
People gather outside the City Heights Performance Annex for a rally supporting immigrants rights, Jan. 19, 2018.

The rally in City Heights comes in response to failed attempts by the White House and Congress to reach a deal for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Ali Torabi spoke during the rally Friday. He moved to the United States in 1995 from Iran before enrolling in DACA.

"The second I received DACA I put in my applications. I got accepted into a lot of universities," Torabi said. "I ended up going to my dream school at UCLA. That was all because of DACA. If it wasn’t for that I don’t know where I’d be. Maybe in the shadows washing dishes."

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The City Heights rally was organized by the Rise Club at Mesa College — part of the undocumented rights advocacy group United We Dream.

"They become paramedics, doctors and nurses," Eddie Moncada said. Moncada is a student at Mesa College and heard of the rally from a classmate. "Then all of a sudden we tell them no we can’t do that, you guys can’t do that anymore. We’re going to send you back to a country that you don’t know about."

People at the rally called for a Dream Act where thousands of young immigrants would be able to secure permanent status in the United States.

"I got my license as soon as DACA came out," Torabi said. "To this day when I’m driving I still cannot believe I’m driving. Because we tend to appreciate the things that were stripped from us, that were hoarded from us for so long. And I think of all these younger kids that will never have that, and that breaks my heart."

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DACA has protected about 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas.

Rally In City Heights Supports Young Immigrants Rights

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