More than 150 protesters marched, chanted, and drummed up support for Dreamers, the immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, outside of Rep. Mimi Walters’s Irvine office, according to the Orange County Register.
“We’re here to support Dreamers, and we want Mimi Walters to support Dreamers,” said one of the protesters in a video uploaded by the Korean Resource Center.
The protesters took to the streets to demand that Walters, an Orange County Republican, support a clean Dream Act, a bill which would provide legal protections for Dreamers to stay in the United States despite being brought here as children. Thus far, Walters has refused to support such a solution.
Heather, a teacher in Irvine, was there to show her support for Dreamers. “I’m so glad we have people from many different cultures as the foundation of our nation,” she said.
The issue is especially important in California, home to nearly 200,000 DACA recipients. The date of the protest, March 5, was not chosen at random.
Dreamers were given legal protections to stay in the United States through a 2012 executive order signed by President Obama. In keeping with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, Trump announced in September 2017 that he was ending those protections, called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, on March 5, 2018.
Protections continue for now because Trump’s decision to end DACA was temporarily halted due to challenges in court. Unfortunately, Walters has not stepped up to be a leader on the issue.
Walters claims Trump “is being a lot more generous” to Dreamers than President Obama, despite the fact that Trump sought to end the DACA program. Walters made this comment in a February radio interview on AM 870 The Answer, where she supported the idea of using the lives of Dreamers as a bargaining chip to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
While Walters supports the idea of a wall, she said such a wall would be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, not Mexico as Trump repeatedly promised during his 2016 campaign.
Walters claims to support Dreamers, but thus far has shown little leadership on the issue. Her social media feeds are filled with posts about the failing Republican tax bill, but very little about Dreamers.
Walters’ refusal to seek solutions regarding Dreamers is at odds with the overwhelming majority of Californians. The 85 percent of Californians who support a fix includes strong majorities across party lines, regions, and demographic groups, according to a recent poll.
The protest outside of Walters’ office shines a light on the fact that Walters is willing to say whatever she thinks her constituents want to hear, but will not back that up with action in Congress.