President Joe Biden
met with six DACA recipients at the White House
, where the young people
expressed an urgent need for permanent protections for all undocumented immigrants.
Maria Praeli, a DACA recipient, said after the meeting that she was "enormously grateful" that Biden listened to their stories about how their families have "struggled with the broken immigration
“We were able to be candid with the president,” Praeli said of herself and the other DACA recipients, dubbed “Dreamers
” because they were brought to the United States as children
They described how “painful” it is to have one’s immigration status “in limbo,” according to Praeli, who added that the meeting with Biden “made even clearer the incredibly high stakes of permanently protecting immigrants from deportation.”
According to the White House, the president "reiterated his support for Dreamers" and other "critical" immigrant workers, as well as discussed the need for broader immigration reform.
Biden has pushed several immigration bills through Congress
, including one that would grant Dreamers permanent resident status and another that would provide a path to citizenship for farmworkers and other undocumented immigrants.
immigration reform efforts passed by the Democratic-led House, on the other hand, face stiff opposition in the Senate
, which is heavily divided.
Six undocumented Americans are about to enter the West Wing for a meeting with @POTUS #wearehome pic.twitter
.com/pdY2LVk8IU— Maria Praeli (@mariapraeli) May 14, 2021
After former President Donald Trump
attempted to end Barack Obama
's DACA program, Dreamers were left unsure of their deportation protections until the Supreme Court
ruled that the program had been improperly terminated and reinstated it.
DACA recipients have long advocated for permanent protections not only for themselves and others brought to the United States as children, but also for the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.
“It’s extremely painful to feel so American while knowing that my future in this country is in jeopardy,” Praeli, a government manager at the immigrant rights organization Fwd.us, told MSNBC
prior to the meeting.
@KarenInATX_, an NEA member and special ed teacher, sheds a tear of disbelief after meeting with President Biden at the White House. Her message: Our students and educators cannot wait; the time is now. #DACA @BeckyPringle https://t.co/V6apY2phq6— NEA Public Relations (@NEAMedia) May 14, 2021