Quigley Speaks with Chicago DACA Recipient, Cinthia, About President Trump’s Threat to Kick Out DREAMers
CHICAGO – In response to President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement on the intention to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) spoke with several DACA recipients who live in Chicago and have benefitted from the program. In a series of videos, Rep. Quigley will share personal stories about how the DACA program has improved his constituents’ lives, and why ending the program would be devastating to them and the more than 800,000 other DREAMers who are living and working in the U.S., contributing to it’s collective success. Watch Rep. Quigley’s conversation with Cinthia, who was brought to the U.S. when she was nine years old.
Click here for the video or see full transcript below.
QUIGLEY: Hi, I'm Congressman Mike Quigley. We're joined today with Cinthia and her daughter. She's going to introduce us in just a second. Cinthia came to this country from Mexico when she was just nine years old. She's currently attending the National Latino Institute. Thank you for being here and sharing your experience. First, introduce us.
CINTHIA: Well, this is Camilla, my daughter. She's eleven months. As you said, my name is Cinthia and I was brought into this country when I was very small. My parents came to give us a better future. And so I want to do the same with my daughter.
QUIGLEY: And how's it make you feel when you're holding your daughter and you're thinking about the potential repeal of DACA?
CINTHIA: Well, it breaks my heart. Because, again, my parents brought us to this country trying to give us a better future and, you know, DACA being removed just takes that opportunity from me to do with my daughter.
QUIGLEY: And that threat, besides the obvious, that's a threat to you and your friends and family.
QUIGLEY: What else do you want in this community? What's your long-term dreams? If you have all this behind you a path to citizenship.
CINTHIA: Well, obviously, I would like to -- since I was really young, I wanted to pursue a career in criminal justice. Even though I'm older now, I don't think it's ever too late to start an education -- and an education is something that can never be taken away from you. So I would definitely pursue my education is criminal justice, which is what I've wanted since I was young.
QUIGLEY: You want to keep us safe.
CINTHIA: Yes, of course.
QUIGLEY: If you could say in a -- what's the message you think so many Americans, Republicans, the President, are missing right now? What's the key message for them to help them understand what DACA recipients feel and what they want?
CINTHIA: Well, what I feel I can't really speak for everyone. But what I feel is that I'm at home. I don't know any other country but the United States. And Chicago's my home. So I want to be able to stay at home -- stay with my family. And it's something that has benefited a lot of people. And people, as you said, are doing good to this country.
QUIGLEY: When the President said “DREAMers may have to go home,” how do you react to that?
CINTHIA: I am home. I am home. Again, I don't know any home other than Chicago. I've been here my whole life, most of my life. All of my family is in the United States; most of them live in Chicago as well. So, I mean, “go home.” I am home.
QUIGLEY: Well, we're glad you're here. We want you to stay here. Good luck. And it's very nice to meet you.
CINTHIA: Thank you so much.
QUIGLEY: Thank you. Take care.