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Arizona DREAMers Celebrate DACA Policy's 5th Anniversary

Arizona DREAMers
(Photo by Carrie Jung - KJZZ)
DREAMers and other advocates gathered in Phoenix to demand area lawmakers do more to defend the DACA program.

More than 100 students and immigration rights advocates gathered at the Arizona State Capitol late Tuesday to celebrate the 5 th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy or DACA. The event was one of many being held around the country. 

The gathering felt more like a party, with balloons, paper flowers and music. In addition to food and motivational speakers, organizers set up tables for people to start their DACA paperwork if they wanted to register. 

Advocates said while the anniversary is something to be grateful for, they acknowledge the policy is on shaky ground. They used the event to demand that lawmakers at all levels protect DACA, especially as some politicians are attempting to dismantle it. 

"We ask that they stop and that they no longer sit silent about the issue with DACA," said Korina Iribe, a spokeswoman for Undocumented Students for Education Equity. "That they come out and support the 25,000 Arizonans that benefit from DACA and that are contributing to the state."

Right now the Trump administration is being pressured to end the program by a group of 10 attorneys general. They say they’ll file a lawsuit if Trump doesn’t rescind DACA by Sept. 5.

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Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.