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'I Shouldn't Have To Compromise My Parents,' Wichita Woman Says Of GOP Immigration Plan

Nadya Faulx
Immigration activists raise their hands at Sen. Jerry Moran's recent town hall meeting in Wichita. They're pushing for a bill that doesn't limit legal immigration in exchange for protection for Dreamers.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is set to expire in a less than a month. The White House has offered a proposal that protects Dreamers, but limits legal immigration. One Wichita woman says the plan puts her in a difficult position.

The woman, who asked that her name not be used, is a U.S. citizen — but her parents, who live in Wichita, aren't.

"I've always been afraid of them being taken away from me, ever since I was little," she says. "You know, I've grown up with that my whole life."

She’s 20 now, and she’ll be able to sponsor her parents when she turns 21.

But that kind of family reunification would end under the GOP’s current plan, which lays out a path to citizenship for nearly 2 million Dreamers—young adults brought to the U.S. as kids.

“I could have easily been another Dreamer but I have the privilege of citizenship," she says. "I stand with them and I want the best for them, but at the same time I don’t want to compromise my parents, and I shouldn’t have to compromise my parents.”

One of those Dreamers is Carolina Arango, who came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was a child. She could receive protection under the GOP's plan, but her sister--a U.S. citizen--would lose the ability to sponsor their parents, as well.

"It's basically putting one group of people against another group of people," Arango says. "That's not the bill that we're looking for."

Immigration activists from Wichita will be in Washington this week as lawmakers expect to discuss a fix to DACA. At a recent town hall meeting, Sen. Jerry Moran said he couldn't comment on the GOP's proposal until he sees "the whole package," but was open to a meeting with Dreamers.


Follow Nadya Faulx on Twitter @NadyaFaulx.

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