Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision essentially blocking President Obama’s plan to help millions of immigrants attain legal status, dozens of protesters gathered in downtown Dallas for a march to City Hall.
Fourteen-year-old Cecilia Ontiveros is an American citizen. Her parents aren’t.
When Thursday’s decision came down, she was with her mom who’s been living in the U.S. without documentation for the past 16 years.
“I was actually really mad when I found out,” Ontiveros said. “But I just kept telling myself if I keep trying something is going to come our way. So, I’m not going to be sad or get depressed about it.”
Ontiveros’s parents are among the thousands of immigrants in North Texas who would’ve benefited from the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA program.
She said it’s tough not being able to do some of the things her friends get to do.
“It’s kind of hard because I always get invited to go places out of town,” Ontiveros said. “I know I can’t go without my parents because they’re not supposed to go anywhere. So I have to miss out on a lot of things, and my mom and dad don’t get to see their family as much as they want to.”
Another reason Ontiveros was out marching? To give voice to the immigrant community and motivate voters.
“They just misjudge people without getting to know them first,” she said. “And that makes me really mad. That’s the reason why we’re mostly here today, and we’re trying to get people to go out and vote for the people who can’t vote to take their places.”
The next decision will be in the hands of the voters.
As it appears, the DAPA program and any substantial immigration reform will remain on hold until after the November presidential election.