Biden to Meet DACA Recipients 05/14 06:14
(AP) -- As a candidate, President Joe Biden promised to protect those often
described as "dreamers," brought to the U.S. illegally as children, and their
families by reinstating an Obama-era policy that protected them from
Biden is scheduled to meet Friday with six immigrants who benefited from the
The Oval Office meeting comes as Biden looks to press Congress to pass
legislation codifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that
then-President Barack Obama instituted by executive action in 2012, providing
limited protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in March his agency was
issuing a rule to "preserve and fortify DACA," but the policy faces a Texas
court challenge that could invalidate the protections established under Obama.
Former President Donald Trump tried to phase out the program. The U.S. Supreme
Court ruled last year that Trump could end it but he did so improperly.
Biden has made a broader call for immigration reform that centers on
establishing a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants,
an effort that faces tough odds in a closely divided Congress. But he's made
clear that passing legislation enshrining DACA -- which has wide, bipartisan
support from the American public -- should be the floor for action on
"If you don't like my plan, let's at least pass what we all agree on," Biden
said in his address before the joint session of Congress last month. "Congress
needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for dreamers
-- the young people who have only known America as their home."
Julie Rodriguez, the White House director for intergovernmental affairs,
said in a tweet that the DACA recipients Biden will meet with include teachers,
health care workers and farm workers who "have been on the frontlines
throughout this pandemic keeping our communities safe, educated, and fed."
Those invited, according to the White House, include:
-- Maria Praeli, an immigrant rights advocate who moved to the U.S. from
Peru when she was 5 so her sister could receive medical treatment.
-- Esmeralda Tovar-Mora, who arrived in Kansas from Mexico when she was only
18 months old. She is attending college while working as a case manager for a
mental health center and a medication aide at a nursing home. She is the mother
of a 3-year-old and her husband serves in the Kansas National Guard.
-- Astou Thiane, an educator and DACA advocate, who immigrated from Senegal
when she was 7 and only learned of her immigration status when she was applying
-- Leydy Rangel, the daughter of migrant farm workers in California. She now
works with a nonprofit advocacy group assisting immigrants, farm workers and
Latinos in rural California.
-- Jrayut "New" Latthivongskorn, who came from Thailand when he was 9 and is
now a second-year medical resident in San Francisco.
-- Karen Reyes, whose mother brought her to the U.S. from Mexico when she
was 2. She is now a kindergarten teacher for students who are hard of hearing