South Bend and a local non-profit supported Barack Obama’s executive order Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, on its fifth anniversary. The order defers deportation of children brought into the country without legal documentation. People gathered at a rally urging the federal government to make DACA a permanent law.
Executive Director of La Casa de Amistad Sam Centellas said DACA supports the whole community.
“It’s become a critical part in our economy, it’s created multiple opportunities for youth in our community to be able to continue school, to go to college, to work, to be engaged in our community, to come out of the shadows,” Centellas said.
The rally took place at Leighton Plaza. Speakers included young adults who shared their stories about immigrating to the U.S.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg praised DACA in a statement and urged for continuation of the executive order, which has been under scrutiny since President Obama introduced it.
About 50 people attended the rally. The city estimates there are about 1,200 people in the South Bend region who are registered under DACA.