FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 15, 2015
Contact: Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, 703-772-1555, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO), Dreamers of Virginia and allies Celebrate the Third Anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Falls Church, VA – Today marks the third anniversary of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has benefitted thousands of young Virginia immigrants. VACOLAO and allies celebrate this anniversary and acknowledge its benefits but also recognize more remains to be done.
“It is undeniable that this program has made a huge difference in the lives of young immigrants in Virginia.” Said Beatriz Amberman, the Vice-Chair of VACOLAO. “Thanks to the DACA program, young people have been able to come out of the shadows and realize their potential academically and professionally as well as contribute to the economic development of their respective local and state economies.”
Jose Caceres, a student from Northern Virginia Community College and a member of Dreamers of Virginia, stated that he is grateful for the positive impact that the DACA program has had on DACA holders lives. “Thanks to DACA, many of my fellow DREAMers and I could receive in-state tuition and obtain a work permit that enabled us to put our new skills to good use. Many of us were able to find better jobs and support our families.”
Last year, the Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued a legal interpretation that recognized that Virginia state law includes DACA holders as those who qualify for in-state tuition. “This interpretation complemented the DACA program in Virginia and helped thousands of immigrant students like myself to continue with our studies,” said Giancarla Rojas who is currently studying at Radford University.
While President Obama’s efforts to expand the DACA program have been stalled by the courts, immigrant rights advocates are optimistic they will eventually go forward and build upon the success that is the DACA program, this time impacting millions of families. “While the past several months have been frustrating, we are thankful for the small bit of relief provided by DACA that has given young immigrants some room to breath. Nevertheless, we do not lose sight of the fact that DACA is only a temporary fix and we call on Congress to finally move forward and fix our broken immigration system,” said Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, Chair of VACOLAO.
VACOLAO’s mission is to serve as a working alliance among organizations in Virginia that serve or support the interest of the Latino communities in order to empower the community and secure equal treatment, equal opportunity and equal representation for Latinos/Hispanics in Virginia.