Arianna Pintado – Pro For a Day 2017

Pro For A Day Press Conference
Arianna Pintado

Firefighter now fighting to stay in the U.S.

Protesters gathered on Nov. 4 at Cooper College in San Diego, Calif. in support of
DACA recipient and firefighter, John Ybarra. After fighting the recent wildfires in Northern California the 28-year-old firefighter now has to fight to stay in the only country he knows.
A press conference was held for John Ybarra to express his feeling towards the recent end to the DACA program. Ybarra’s attorney, Jasmine Graves, started off the conference introducing
Ybarra describing him as a hero who has given all to this country and now faces deportation as a DACA recipient.
DACA also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is an immigration policy which allows individuals who entered the United States as minors to be given a two year deferment of deportation. It allows people like Ybarra to legally work and attend school in the U.S.. It does not give the recipients eligibility to gain American citizenship or become a legal resident.
President Trump has moved to end the five year old Obama-era policy putting the nearly 800,000 people in worry of being deported or not being approved for renewal.
Ybarra took over the stand and began speaking about his story. Coming to the U.S. at age 5, completing high school and obtaining a degree from UC Berkeley, he states he does not know his country of Mexico or speak the spanish language.
“America is my home,” said Ybarra.

He went on to speak more about his experience in the U.S. until anti-protester, Willie Jones began blurting out comments about Ybarra including that the United States is not Ybarra’s home and that he should go back to Mexico.
This is when Calif. Congressman Robert King stepped in and gave his view on Ybarra’s status.
King stated that Ybarra broke the law by coming here illegally and should return home.
“True he may have saved some wildfires, but we have to ask who started the fire,” King said.
Congressman King continued saying former president Obama should not have used his status to start something unconstitutional. He then addressed to Ybarra that he should go get to know his home since he is unfamiliar with his country of Mexico.
Ybarra then took over the stand again and fought back tears as he told the story of his inability to travel to Washington D.C. in his junior year of high school. His parents feared that he would be caught while traveling and be deported.
After the emotional tale Ybarra continued closed the conference stating that America is his home and that all Americans do not feel the same as Congressman King does.
“I will continue to help others for as long as i can and i hope it will be here in America,” Ybarra stated.


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