KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's the national 'Day of Action' for the Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance and the 'United We Dream' group.
On Wednesday, so-called 'Dreamers' and supporters of Dreamers rallied in front of Sen. Claire McCaskill's office at 4141 Pennsylvania Ave.
One of the event organizers, Alex Martinez, said Sen. McCaskill, D-Missouri, has disappointed the Dreamers. About six people attended the rally to ask her to fight harder for them and to do it quickly.
"We are demonstrating outside her office, and we will let her know that undocumented youth are not a bargaining chip, and we will not be used as leverage. We are demanding she supports a clean DREAM act," he said.
"We're trying to ask McCaskill to show come leadership, step it up, be that leader that I know she can be and talk to her colleagues and push for a clean dream act," said Nubia Estefes, member of the Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance. "The time is crucial. Each day, each week passes, people with their DACA lapses, and their DACA ends so that's why we`re here. It's very important to be continuing this work and we don`t want DACA, we want a dream act now."
Scroll down to the end of the story to see their signs, which read:
Dreamers are Americans
United we dream!
Clean dream act now!
The groups are asking McCaskill to become a "champion of Dreamers" and are calling on Democratic leaders around the nation to become more aggressive in stopping the deportations of Dreamers.
Sen. McCaskill's office says protecting Dreamers is one of her top priorities and reminds them that McCaskill voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 and for the DREAM Act in 2010.
"Taking young people who were brought here through no fault of their own, and have never known another country, and kicking them out of America is as dumb as it is counterproductive," said McCaskill in a statement on Wednesday. "Over 90 percent of them are in school or working and many have proudly served our country in uniform. Republican leaders in Congress should stop sitting on their hands and tackle this issue so there is certainty and the rule of law to allow these young people to keep contributing to America."
In September, Pres. Trump ordered the end of the DACA program, but in January, a federal judge in San Francisco barred the administration from turning back the Obama-era DACA program. The program is said to shield approximately 700,000 people from deportation.
Other states are also challenging the administration's decision to end DACA, including Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Attorneys general from Maine, Maryland, Minnesota also joined a suit.
At the end of 2017, with the possibility of a government shutdown, some local DACA supporters were frustrated, believing McCaskill wasn't fighting harder for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) during the budget negotiations.
A quote from McCaskill in a Washington Post story from December 2017 frustrated DACA-supporters, who wanted to hear more urgency in her plan of support.
“We’ve got to get it done, but I’m not drawing a line in the sand that it has to be this week versus two weeks from now,” McCaskill said in the December 2017 Post report.
Wednesday rally in front of McCaskill's office: