SALINAS, Calif. - Congressman Jimmy Panetta held a news conference at Hartnell College in Salinas on Saturday. He addressed President Trump's recent decision to end DACA, saying he has faith in congress.
Panetta says he hopes congress will pass a long-term solution to give Dreamers the opportunity to give back to their communities. During the conference two DACA recipients spoke out about their experiences in the United States. Both saying they would not be where they are today if it were not for DACA.
The Central Coast is currently home to close to 20,000 Dreamers, one-fourth of the nation's total DACA population.
Both Dreamers who spoke Saturday, attend Hartnell College. They highlighted the different ways Dreamers contribute to the economy and communities they live in.
Panetta says he will take these success stories and bring them to Washington to share with Congress in hopes of passing something to protect the Dreamers. Panetta is a co-sponsor of a piece of legislation called the Dream Act. He says this is something that "is a pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers."
After the press conference Panetta held a roundtable with thirty Dreamers who are currently enrolled in DACA. In the roundtable he answered questions and listened to concerns regarding the end of the program. He also discussed ways he will try to protect the Dreamers and others working on becoming citizens.