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Activists across Kern County rally in support of DACA

Dozens of protesters gather for a DACA rally in Bakersfield, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (KBAK/KBFX photo) 

Dozens of people protested Tuesday outside of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s district office. They chanted and held signs of support of DACA, the Obama-era policy that shielded undocumented youth from being deported.

Protesters held a public forum outside of his office and allowed anyone to take the megaphone to voice their concerns.

The group continued their protest at Rep. David Valadao’s district office. They wanted to urge their elected officials to protect DACA recipients from deportation.

“We want Congress to do its job and pass the DREAM Act or pass some type of immigration reform where these dreamers are safe," said UFW Program Director Fatima Hernandez.

There were many DACA recipients present at the event, including Ivan, who just graduated from UC Berkeley.

He earned a full-ride scholarship to run track, and also happens to be a so-called “dreamer.”

"The reason I love track is because no one really cared about my legal status,” said Ivan. “All they cared is if I ran fast or not."

Ivan was born in Mexico City and was brought to the United States when he was 5 years old. He was a junior is high school when he found out he was undocumented.

At first, Ivan said he ran track to cope with his fear of deportation but later he found a bigger purpose.

“I plan to get my masters in social work and come back here and be a school social worker for Kern high school to help out students like myself,” he said. “Help them realize their dreams."

Ivan is just one of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients whose future is in limbo, but Ivan said he is not giving up hope.

"I believe that there’s good things to come,” said Ivan. “Yes, this is the end but there's new beginnings and I know there’s going to be a better beginning for something better."

Congress has until March 5, 2018, to figure out a plan for the future of the young immigrants.

The United Farm Worker Foundation will be hosting a free citizenship workshop of Sept. 9. To register for the event, visit its website.

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