News LIers show support for program protecting ‘dreamers’ By Marilynn Bonilla Marilynn.Bonilla@newsday.com August 29, 2017 3:47 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Protesters marched to Trump Tower in Manhattan Wednesday waving signs like “DACA is more than a dream, it’s a promise” as they showed their support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which offers protections to undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children and meet several guidelines. The five-year-old DACA initiative is in jeopardy as President Donald Trump weighs possibly dismantling the program that has given nearly 800,000 people, also known as “dreamers,” a reprieve from deportations, according to the Associated Press. The president has until Sept. 5 to make a decision, a deadline set by a group of Republican state lawmakers threatening to challenge the program in court. We asked Long Islanders at the protest what DACA means to them. Yasser Ventura, 24 Photo Credit: Marilynn Bonilla Hometown: Brentwood Occupation: Student "[DACA] meant [to me] that I can work, that I can finally go to school, that I am able to go to the doctor. I came with a visa for only a year for my treatment. I have what's called brain aneurysm, so I have been going to the hospital for about 10 years. [Without DACA] I can't go to the doctor." Muzna Ansari, 29 Photo Credit: Marilynn Bonilla Hometown: Valley Stream Occupation: Policy manager for the New York Immigration Coalition "It's a loss for us as people who work and live in the same communities as DACA recipients, because DACA recipients are the best of us; they contribute so much to their communities and it's really a loss to lose the protections that they have." Xiomara Salgada, 36 Photo Credit: Marilynn Bonilla Hometown: Brentwood Occupation: Cleaner "DACA para mi es la oportunidad que abre muchas puertas a que nuestros jóvenes se superen, a que cada uno de ellos sientan un gran apoyo y así puedan ellos superarse en todo nivel académico. También ellos ayudar economicamente tambien a su familia." Translated to: "DACA to me is the opportunity that opens a lot of doors so our children can excel, so that every one of them feel a great support and like that they can excel in every level academically. Also, they can financially help their family." Francis Madi, 28 Photo Credit: Marilynn Bonilla Hometown: Hempstead Occupation: Community organizer for New York Immigration Coalition "To me DACA means access to opportunities that I didn't have before ... DACA has given me the opportunity to develop myself professionally, to finish college, to travel with an I.D., to feel like I'm actually part of this country." Sergio Arguetas, 39 Photo Credit: Marilynn Bonilla Hometown: Long Beach "I've had friends, relatives, individuals, that have been here since they were infants, know no other language than English, have never pledged allegiance to any other flag other than the U.S. flag and they know no other national anthem, yet because they weren't born on the right side of that border they are now on the cusp of being deported. Many of them came out of the shadows with the promise that if they did what they were supposed to do they would have the opportunity of fulfilling that American Dream." Samantha Sterling, 24 Hometown: Hicksville Occupation: Student "I think it's unacceptable what's in the news with our president... There are people in America that want to be here... People in my generation just want to see progression." Angie Suarez, 16 Photo Credit: Marilynn Bonilla Hometown: Brentwood Occupation: Student "[DACA] means a lot to me because my sisters have been in this [program] for a couple of years and they've been fighting for this. When DACA came out they were really happy about it and I wouldn't want them to take it away." By Marilynn Bonilla Marilynn.Bonilla@newsday.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.