Public safety advocates, DACA activists rally for different immigration priorities

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- So-called ‘dreamers’ are pleading for Congress to take action so they can legally stay in the U.S. before time runs out. But others argue tragedy flows across the border with illegal immigration.

“It still continues to happen and it’s angering for me," said Michelle Root.

Root, of Iowa, copes with the pain of losing her daughter.

Two years ago – and the day after Sara graduated from college – a suspected drunk driver and illegal immigrant crashed into her at a stop light in Omaha. Police arrested the suspect, but he made bond and skipped town.

“It felt like Sarah had no voice," said Root. “We’re not getting ahead of it and we need to.”

Root joined other families with similar stories and law enforcement in Washington this week to argue for stronger border security and a crack-down on ‘sanctuary cities’.

“Our federal government’s job is to be able to make sure our country’s secure and our borders can’t be as porous as what they’ve been," said Tim Morse, Sheriff of Jackson County, Kansas.

“Each state should look at what Texas has done to clear up and clean up and send a message across this nation that we’re all rule of law," said Sheriff A.J. Louderback, of Jackson County, Texas.

But, immigrants who could lose Obama-era protections say the crimes of others shouldn’t prevent them from staying in the country…legally.

“All of us are just looking for better lives," said Luis Gonzalez.

Gonzalez – a student at Eastern Kentucky University and Carlos Reyes, of Middle Tennessee State University, say most immigrants have no ties to crime, and they want a path for people like them to stay and live the American dream.

“So we’re here to fight for our dream in the most righteous way and let them know we are here in peace," said Reyes.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle promised to find a way to extend protections for immigrants like Luis and Carlos who came to the country as children. The Trump administration is giving Congress until March 5th to do so.

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