Immigration group asks attorney general to support DACA
Immigration advocates went to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office Tuesday to ask her to remove her name from a letter supporting the end of the immigration program DACA.
DACA stand for deferred action for childhood arrivals and gives illegal immigrants who came to the country as children a low priority for deportation. Rutledge wants that to be phased out.
"We're hard working people and all we know is the United States of America,” said Maria Meneses, a DACA status student with Arkansas United Community Coalition.
Meneses status under DACA gives her a renewable two years of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. She met with a representative of Rutledge's office and read letters from DACA students.
"Every two years I have to renew my permit and there is always a fear in the back of my head, what if it gets denied, what if it gets removed what's going to happen to me,” she read.
Earlier this year Rutledge joined nine other attorneys general in sending a letter to the Trump administration asking for DACA to be phased out, calling it unlawful. If there's no action by Sept. 5th, those on the letter have threatened to sue.
"I am 27 years old. 26 years and 11 months have been spent here in the United States of America. Does that make me less American than you,” Meneses read.
Arkansas United Community Coalition estimates more than 8 thousand Arkansas youth have DACA status.
Rutledge released a statement to Channel 7 News Tuesday about her stance on DACA.
“Attorney General Rutledge encourages Arkansans to contact her and the office on issues. The Attorney General and members of the senior staff have met with numerous individuals and groups in support of as well as opposition to the letter she sent to the Department of Justice asking that the unauthorized and unlawful DACA program be phased out. Simply put: this letter is about upholding the rule of law. Even former President Obama acknowledged that he did not have authority to unilaterally implement and thereby grant legal status to over one million aliens.”