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Georgia Dreamers gird for Washington’s impending immigration fight

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Jaime Rangel (left) works as an organizing intern with supervisor Sam Aguilar at FWD.us in Atlanta on September 18th, 2017. (Photo by Phil Skinner)

Jaime Rangel vividly recalls the day the letter arrived five years ago in his family’s mailbox in Chatsworth, an event that prompted his mother to burst into tears.

A Mexican native who was brought to America as an infant, Rangel learned from the letter that he had been accepted into the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The program would make it possible for the former Boy Scout to get his first driver’s license and a work permit so he could support himself and go to Dalton State College, where he studies finance. Importantly, it would also remove his nagging fear of being deported to a country he doesn’t know.

Rangel, a 26-year-old Braves fan with a thick Southern accent, is fighting to retain that protection following President Donald Trump’s recent decision to phase out DACA in six months. Along with fellow activists in Georgia, Rangel is attending rallies, calling federal lawmakers and praying that Congress will pass legislation providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, the nickname given to immigrants like him.

Conservatives in Georgia, meanwhile, are calling the White House and lobbying Congress to make sure DACA goes away for good, calling it the result of an unconstitutional end run around Congress by the Obama administration. They want Trump to stick to his campaign promise of getting tough on illegal immigration.

Read the whole story on myAJC: Battle over the fate of Dreamers flares in Georgia 

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