As the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – which gives young undocumented immigrants protection from deportation and allows them to work in the United States – hangs in the balance, one young woman bravely confronted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton about his attacks on the undocumented community. Though President Donald Trump has, in the past, praised DACA recipients and stated he has a “big heart” for the beneficiaries, his administration hasn’t officially decided to continue or end the President Barack Obama-enacted program. This has led to frustration on both sides, driving nine attorneys general – led by Paxton – to write a letter to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, urging the administration to put an end to the program. If Trump doesn’t comply by September 5, the lawyers will sue the administration.
As the deadline quickly approaches, activists and DACA recipients, including Damaris Gonzalez, are working to protect the program that they fought so hard for. In a video United We Dream posted onto Facebook on Monday, Paxton is seen speaking to two young girls. Just before he takes a photo with them, the camera pans to show Damaris standing beside the girls. After they pose for a picture, she tells him point blank: “My name is Damaris, and I’m a DACA recipient. My question is, Why are you trying to deport me?”
Paxton responds that he’s not trying to deport her, he’s just trying to ensure that Trump follows the constitution. Damaris follows this up by asking him more questions, including, “Why are you trying to separate families like mine?” and “Why are you trying to criminalize over hundreds of thousands of young people like me.”
After his unsatisfactory answers, Damaris tells him that DACA has changed her life, allowing her to provide for her and her family. “No human is illegal,” she added. “We fought for DACA. And we won it. And we will protect it at any cost.”
The video ends abruptly, but nevertheless, it’s incredibly powerful. Check it out below:
H/T Daily Kos