San Francisco

‘Day Without Immigrants' Rally in San Francisco

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Demonstrators gathered in San Francisco Monday with the goal of showing people what a day without immigrants would look like.

Organizers were calling people not to work or shop for the day, trying to push congressional leaders to revive comprehensive immigration reforms.

“I think Dreamers should get their green cards, it's about time,” said Juana Arrango, Petaluma resident. “It's been proven that they're here to work, and they are honest people and fighting for this country.”

Within the group, there were many immigration situations.

For fifteen-year-old Estrella Santiago, the fear of her parents being taken away by ICE agents is always on her mind. 

She said she would have to take care of her brothers.

There was hope that under the Joe Biden administration, there might be a new chance to create a pathway to citizenship for their parents and millions of other undocumented immigrants.

But so far, it hasn't turned out that way.

“Like, he's trying, but it's very hard and difficult,” said Santiago.

There's a lot of frustration being aimed at the Biden administration and Democratic congressional leaders for promising immigration reforms on the campaign trail, and not delivering.

But even if Biden's efforts are bogged down in the Senate, they say he could still do something to help protect many immigrants who are here, under tenuous circumstances.

“At a bare minimum, we know that the president has the authority to issue an executive order that can grant TPS status, or a work permit, a temporary reprieve to everybody,” said Luis Bravo of Comite VIDA.

The Trump administration had tried to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to many people living in the U.S. from nine countries.

In October of last year, the Biden administration extended that status and added people from countries like Haiti, Myanmar, and Venezuela.

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