Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal held an emergency hearing in New Haven Monday. The purpose was to gather testimony on the impact of President Trump’s immigration policies.
Immigrants, documented and undocumented, and immigration attorneys were among those who filled the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church. They came to tell their stories, offer support, and call for change to the country’s immigration policies.
The hearing comes after the announcement that Trump will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, which gives temporary legal immigration status to people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children.
Valent Kolami, an immigrant from Albania, has a son on the DACA program.
“The president says he’s going to go after the people who commit crimes. What kind of crime did my son do?” Kolami asked. “What kind of crime did I do? Seventeen years I pay every penny of taxes. I never took a penny from the government for help.”
Blumenthal also heard from Marco Reyes, the Meriden father who’s taken sanctuary in the church for more than a month. His son and daughter are DACA recipients. His daughter Evelyn said the DACA announcement has only added to the family’s stress.
“All we want is to keep on building a life here without fear of getting deported and to keep on prospering in this country,” said Reyes.
Blumenthal said he'll bring their testimony back to Washington where he’ll fight to pass the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform.