Local attorney helps DREAMers plan for uncertain future

PHOENIX — After President Donald Trump’s official DACA decision was announced earlier this week, DREAMers now turn their focus to what could be next for them.

DACA recipients and supporters came together at a local church Wednesday in Phoenix to learn more about the president’s latest policy changes. Hosted by Daniel Rodriguez, Arizona’s first undocumented attorney, he made sure DREAMers know they still have a voice.

“We have to continue to fight, we have to continue to push, we have to continue to demand and ask for more,” Rodriguez said. “Just like we were able to win DACA in 2012, now that DACA is done, we have to continue to fight and ask for something bigger at the national level.”

Rosa Rodriguez, a DREAMer and Daniel’s sister, came to the United States when she was 3 years old.

“I am here supporting DREAMers, I am here supporting the attorneys and everybody willing to help DREAMers get where they want to be,” Rosa Rodriguez said. “With DACA, I was able to get a job. I have a son and I have been able to get a job to help him and take care of him. It’s opened a lot of opportunities to me.”

Daniel Rodriguez

Attorney Daniel A. Rodriguez before speaking at a DACA information forum. (Photo by Courtney Mally/Cronkite News)

While the decision of what happens with DACA now rests potentially in the hands of Congress, Rodriguez said becoming informed is the best thing DREAMers can do to defend themselves.

“As an attorney I have to provide my clients with as much information as possible, and help them as fast as I can especially during these times,” Rodriguez said.

For both Daniel and Rosa Rodriguez, the next six months are going to be busy.

“I’m going to be working hard with (my brother) to help a lot of DREAMers with their renewals,” Rosa Rodriguez said. “Fight with us. I encourage all of you guys to fight and and be informed of what’s going on around you.”

Daniel Rodriguez will host a free DACA renewal drive for permits expiring before March 5, 2018. The drive will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the First Church UCC, 1407 N. 2nd St. in Phoenix.