Immigrants who are living, working and going to school in Nebraska with an uncertain future lying ahead of them urged support Friday for proposed immigration reform legislation that would grant them a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
"This is our home and we are home" was the message delivered by a number of speakers during a Nebraska Appleseed virtual news conference conducted on Zoom that featured voices from Scottsbluff to South Sioux City.
With the election of President Joe Biden, immigration proposals to resolve the status of young DACA immigrants and provide a pathway for establishing residency and citizenship for longtime community members are under consideration by Congress.
The so-called "Dreamer" immigrants are residents who came to the United States at a young age when their parents or other relatives brought them across the border illegally.
Their status to remain here legally has been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that came under periodic attack by former President Donald Trump.
"Immigrant families live in uncertainty," Katherine Lopez of Columbus said.
"Uncertainty and instability" mark their lives, Vanessa Martinez of Nebraska Appleseed said.
"It's been a real challenge the last couple of years," Raul Arcos Hawkins of Grand Island, who came to the United States when he was 8 years old, added.
Olga Guevara of South Sioux City said immigrant families need stability to join along with their current ability to be vibrant and prosperous.
"From Scottsbluff to South Sioux City, immigrant Nebraskans are lights in our families and communities," Nebraska Appleseed stated.
"It's time for full inclusion of longtime family members and community members."
Friday's Zoom event marked Nebraska's turn as Kansas passed the torch in a nationwide "Relay Across America" drive to support immigration reform.
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