HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Children of undocumented immigrants, also known as Dreamers, let their voices be heard in the form of art at the University of Houston on Tuesday, just one day before National Day of Action.
As Congress continues to fight over a budget in Washington, many Dreamers are questioning what will happen and if their protection, under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), will expire as it's set to do very soon.
"Houston for me is diversity. I love it. The culture," said Dreamer Hector Angeles.
Angeles taking the microphone on the steps of UH, standing with his fellow Dreamers even as the Trump Administration's rescission of DACA threatens his status as an illegal immigrant.
"When I wake up every day, I'm like today I'm an immigrant. Today I'm scared. What if the police catches me?" questions Angeles. "I'm going back to a country that I don't know anything about."
"We're human beings, we go to college, we go to church, we live a life like anyone else," said Maria Garcia, who is a Dreamer and student at University of Houston Downtown. "The only thing that defines us is a paper."
It's estimated 64,000 Dreamers live in the greater Houston area, second only to Los Angeles when comparing the number, according to Cesar Espinosa who serves as the Executive Director of FIEL Houston. Many are still enrolled in school.
"About 20,000 of them are young students still going into HISD," said Espinosa.
The hope is that some sort of Dream Act passes through Congress. The fight to get legislation for youth entering the country as illegal immigrants has been going on for 17 years.
"We are here and we consider this home," said Dreamer Orlando Lopez.
As a possible Congressional budget vote looms later this week, those Dreamers want to see Congress finally take action and provide a pathway to citizenship.
"We hope to maybe find a solution to this and maybe pass a dream act because when I finish college, my degree will be sitting there, literally, because I can't enforce it if I don't have proper paperwork," said Garcia.
"At every turn we feel vulnerable. Even though now I have a work permit, I have a license at least for the next couple of years, there's still a concern that I could be deported at anytime," said Espinosa.
Wednesday, December 6, is National Day of Action, so leaders will be hosting an event at MECA (1900 Kane St, Houston, TX 77007) at 11:30 a.m. Local Dreamers, leaders and community members are expected to attend. Representatives from various organizations that provide support to immigrants will also be on site.