Local community members react to DACA announcement
JOHSNTOWN - Protests are erupting across the country following President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
It was put in place by the Obama administration allowing illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as young children, to stay in the U.S.
A handful of people were outside of the Press Bistro in downtown Johnstown Wednesday to voice their concerns about the decision and stand up for so-called Dreamers.
"They're American citizens just like I am," said protestor Sendra Harvey.
"Defend DACA," "No human being is illegal," and "Support Dreamers," were some of the signs community members were holding.
"These are members of our community coming together because we care about our immigrant neighbors, said organizer Tarra Setzler.
The decision could affect nearly 800,000 dreamers.
"For the majority of them, this is their life. They've always been her," said Harvey.
Harvey said she is a 10- year veteran and a planned parenthood health advocate. She stands for DACA.
"When I was in the army I had served alongside a lot of DACA people. It's a shame we expect them to fight for our own country, which is our independence, and say we accept them ... then say sorry you're done, we're sending you back home to a place they don't even know. This is their home," said Harvey.
She said the decision is not only unfair, but calls it un-American.
"Everyone came on some sort of boat, somewhere, someway, across some ocean. Every single of one of us. It is unfortunate that they want to send them back when they haven't done nothing. They add to our country," said Harvey.
"I think it's important that welcome in immigrants and that we offer people safety and opportunity to be a part of the American dream," said Setzler.
Setzler said immigrant rights are human rights.
"Immigrants' rights are human rights because immigrants are humans. You hear the phrase illegal, you can't be illegal, people are people," said Setzler.
Protestors downtown said they're in it until the end.
The president has placed DACA in the hands of Congress, giving them a six-month window to pass legislation.