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DACA recipient mobilizes her community

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By Nicole Acevedo

Many conversations surrounding this year’s Women’s March have focus on anti-Semitism allegations against two Women’s March Inc. leaders as some prominent civil and women’s rights groups decided to not partner with the organization for the big event in Washington.

But for young Latinas like Sarai Bautista Perez, 28, the Women’s March is an opportunity motivate people to politically engage beyond the rally.

“We don’t want people to just attend the rally and then go home and not do anything,” Bautista Perez told NBC News.

Sarai, right, and Laila at the Women’s March in January 2018.Jose Zurita

Bautista is part of March On, a grassroots coalition of Women’s March organizers that works to make sure people are organized, informed and ready to vote in the 2020 elections to bring new progressive leaders to Congress. And as part of the coalition, she’s organizing the Women’s March taking place in her town of Greenville in South Carolina.

Even though Bautista has attended previous Women’s Marches, this is the first time she plans one in her community since she became more involved in political activism in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential win.

“Having DACA and seeing my life completely turned around [for the better],” said Bautista Perez, who explained that DACA allows undocumented immigrants like herself to apply to work and study in the U.S. without fear of deportation, “made see how important it was to be in contact with legislators and Congress.”

The long-term fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, was put into question after the White House and Congress failed to provide and pass immigration reform back in March 5, 2018. At the time, two federal judges blocked the Trump administration from rescinding the program and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the government’s appeal, which expanded DACA recipients’ time frame to garner congressional support for a permanent solution.

As of Friday, it appears likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will not take up the issue during its current term, which would require the government to keep the program going for at least 10 more months.



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