Everyone has an opinion on the polarizing topic of immigration reform, but rarely do immigrants get to be in the presence of key decision makers who determine their fates. Student Estefany Pineda and community organizer Jose Palma got that opportunity recently, when Pineda attended the State of the Union as a guest of US Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Palma testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee.
Pineda is a recipient of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives legal status and work authorization to those brought into the country illegally by their parents as minors. Palma, who came to the US in 1999 after a natural disaster in El Salvador, has temporary protected status, which allows him to live and work legally here as well.
Pineda and Palma described the challenges faced by immigrants under President Trump’s administration on the Codcast. While they represent different groups of immigrants, Pineda and Palma say the best way forward for both of them is to find a pathway to citizenship through the recently proposed Dream and Promise Act. The new legislation, proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders, is the first to seek permanent legal residency for both groups of immigrants.