WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – President Joe Biden conversed with six Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients Friday to discuss their experiences on the frontlines of the pandemic and reiterated his support for Dreamers, TPS holders, farmworkers, and other essential immigrant workers.
“It felt like we were in our living room just talking to like Uncle Joe,” said Esmeralda Tovar-Mora.
Tovar-Mora said they talked to the president inside the Oval Office about her military family, work in the health care field, and the importance of creating a path to citizenship for thousands of DACA recipients in the county.
“Being able to hold him accountable for how long this process has been taking,” she said. “He did own-up to that, he will be fighting hard to get the DREAM Act passed this year.”
The initial meeting was supposed to last only 45 minutes, but Tovar-Mora says it carried on to approximately an hour and a half.
“You just feel comfortable talking to him about things,” said Tovar-Mora.
Tovar-Mora was only 18 months old when she moved to the United States. Her family was trying to make their way to New York but instead called Kansas their home. She didn’t know about her legal status until she tried to apply for her driver’s permit, that’s when her parents revealed she was undocumented.
“It was really difficult obviously to think that this whole time like you felt American, you were pledging allegiance to the flag every single day in school, and yet, a piece of paper is what is held you back,” explained Tovar-Mora.
Now, the ‘Dreamer’ works as a case manager for a mental health center in Hutchinson and a medication aid for a local nursing home.
She says if the Senate approved the Dream and Promise Act, it will allow her to continue her education, as well as stay with her family.
“I don’t have to live with that fear anymore, and I will be safe from that and be able to really advocate for my parents,” said Tovar-Mora.
The bill is still up for discussion in the Senate.