Briella TomassettiSep 25, 2017, 5:50 pm

DACA recipient: Congress should pass Dream Act to 'resolve this once and for all'

Dreamers who live, work in Long Island share their struggle to create a path for themselves with looming risk of deportation


Several DACA recipients called on lawmakers to pass the Dream Act alongside Congressman Tom Suozzi in Huntington on Monday.

The legislation would allow them to apply for permanent residency and potential citizenship.

"DACA means a lot to me because, after I graduate, I don't want them to take away my license, my car, and my stay because I've worked really hard," DACA enrollee Kevin Berrezueta said.

Carlos Diaz Lezama, Nelson Melgar, and Berrezueta are from Mexico, Honduras, and Ecuador but the country they know best is the United States.

Lezama moved to the states in 2000 and now lives in Brooklyn. He's been working legally for Long Island Carpet Cleaners since 2015. Kevin, who grew up in Roslyn, is currently attending Baruch College, and Nelson, a Glen Cove resident, is a Hunter College graduate who has since founded the North Shore Hispanic Civic Association.

"I ask that Congress acts on the Dream Act. I ask that we resolve this once and for all," DACA enrollee Melgar said.

President Trump announced several weeks ago that in six months his administration would be rescinding DACA, an Obama-era executive order allowing certain illegal immigrants to get a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

"Let’s do the smart thing and make our country stronger, by having these productive members of our society be fully integrated into it," Suozzi said.

If the Dream Act is passed, it would grant a green card to all current DACA recipients and create a system for similar undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

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