Joe Biden’s inauguration has led to immediate positive changes in the lives of at least one group of Americans: the so-called Dreamers who Trump and Miller wanted to deport from the first moment they took power.
Michael Browder, one of seven members of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition who arrived in D.C. on Tuesday, said the moment was “very, very emotional.”
The 30-year-old DACA recipient said they have been waiting for a president committed to immigration reform. Under Trump, Browder said, he and others lived day-to-day wondering whether their legal work permits — granted under the Obama-era program for undocumented immigrants brought here as children — would be unexpectedly stripped from them. The Supreme Court, ruling against the Trump administration, upheld DACA this summer.
As Biden took his oath of office, Browder said the weight has been lifted.
“We called it our victory,” he said. “It was very emotional to see that today may be the start of a change for the future.”
Karina Ruiz De Diaz, executive director of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, said she came to D.C. days after traveling to Mexico to bury her father, who died of complications from covid-19.
Her father, who was undocumented, had spent two decades separated from his family in Mexico. But his dying wish was to return there to be laid to rest, Ruiz De Diaz said. After burying him Sunday, she wanted to come to D.C. to ask the new administration — or anyone listening in D.C. — to stop deporting and separating families.
“They want us to be afraid, the extremist groups,” Ruiz De Diaz said. “We want to fight against that fear, to say this is our home, too.”