Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced on Monday she had helped secure more than $170,000 to cover the renewal fees for people in her state covered by the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals policy.
The status of the program, better known as DACA, is in question after President Donald Trump said he would scrap it, potentially leaving in limbo 800,000 people living in the US illegally after migrating to the country as children.
The policy grants work permits to recipients while protecting them from deportation. It was signed by Barack Obama after numerous failed attempts to pass a similar protection, the DREAM Act, in Congress, dating back to 2001.
Raimondo said the $495 renewal fee for all eligible Rhode Island DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, would be paid for.
“A couple weeks ago, when the Trump administration announced its plan to end the DACA program, we gathered in Central Falls and pledged to do everything in our power to stand up for Rhode Island’s DREAMers,” a statement from Raimondo read. “We’re not going to allow $495 to stand in the way of our neighbors’ dreams.”
“Now is the time to fight for our values and take action against hatred and bigotry.”
Donors contributed the nearly $200,000 to cover the costs of the two-year extension of DACA recipients in Rhode Island, according to Raimondo’s statement.
Since Trump’s announcement, Democratic lawmakers have been pressing President Donald Trump on several immigration-related issues – including forgoing the proposed US-Mexico border wall – and have not ruled out shutting down the government at the end of the year if Congress does not pass the DREAM Act.