LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- As the Supreme Court reviews the Trump administration’s push to end protections for recipients of the DACA program, "Dreamers" in Las Vegas held a “Defend DACA” rally at UNLV Tuesday.
“We all deserve to be in this country,” UNLV Freshman and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient Miriam Munoz said. "This country was built on immigration."
The Obama-era program allows undocumented immigrants brought in to the U.S. as children to work and study in the U.S. legally. The Trump administration has tried to end it arguing that its creation was an over reach of authority.
“People like me, immigrants are being viewed in a bad light,” Munoz said. “It’s not fair that we are being targeted. I want to stand in solidarity with my people.”
Munoz said she is attending the university on a full scholarship. She worries that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority will side with the Trump Administration, putting her status, and roughly 700,000 other recipients, at risk.
According to the U.S. citizenship and Immigration Services, more than 9,000 recipients were located in the Las Vegas metro area in 2017.
A handful of recipients who attend UNLV or the College of Southern Nevada shared their immigration stories and their journey to Nevada. Each shared the same message that they believe the United States is home.
“All of my memories are here,” UNLV junior Maggy Resendiz said. “I am just as American as the next person. We’re hard working people that are your neighbors.”
Prior to Tuesday’s oral arguments, President Trump fired out a tweet that called some recipients “very tough, hardened criminals.” Hours later, he sent out another tweet claiming more than 53,000 DACA recipients in the country had arrests records. The statistic, which comes from a USCIS report states that "arrests" include apprehensions and does not mean the individual was convicted of a crime.
“He clearly hasn’t met the people I’ve met,” UNLV Immigration Clinic and Law professor Michael Kagan said. “It is one of the strictest programs in terms of screening for criminal backgrounds.”
A ruling in this case is not likely until Spring 2020.
UNLV’s conservative group on campus Turning Point USA declined to interview or provide a comment. The Nevada GOP did not respond to requests for comment.