John Ybarra Press Conference
Butte County firefighter John Ybarra has the chance of being deported back to Mexico due to President Donald Trump’s persistence on ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Ybarra and his attorney Jasmine Graves held a press conference on Nov 4 at Cooper College. They discussed Ybarra’s life in America, and his significance in the country. Graves says the reason behind this conference was because they wanted to appeal to the federal government. They wanted to tell them what they are doing concerning DACA is wrong.
Graves begins the conference speaking on the behalf of John Ybarra. She speaks on undocumented young men like Ybarra who have given their all to America by doing risky jobs like firefighting.
“He might have to leave this country that he has fought for so valuably,” she says.
Before bringing John Ybarra up to speak Graves says, “This man is a hero and he may have to go back to a country he doesn’t know. This is his home. This is his home.”
Speaking next, Ybarra tells of how he was brought here at the age of five, attended school like everyone else which is essentially how he found out about his immigration status. Wanting to take a school trip across state, he was told by his parents that he would not be able to go due to being undocumented. Though he was prevented from that, he says because of DACA and teacher encouragement he continued his education and later became a firefighter.
Ybarra adds that he can barely speak Spanish. “English is my language. America is my home,” he says.
Ybarra finished his speech by saying he hopes he can continue being a contributing member to the country.
“Some 700,000 people will be impacted by something like this. These are people who contribute to American society,” says Community organizer Pedro Martinez.
Martinez repeats multiple times that DACA needs to stay.
Graves comes back to speak, saying that the government is turning their back on DACA recipients. She states that her and Ybarra want California Congressman Robert King to represent their ideas and beliefs.
Congressman King steps up stating that he does not agree with Ybarra and Graves position.
“As far as DACA is concerned, I think it’s time for these dreamers to wake up. Wake up to reality,” he says.
He continues by saying DACA as a program is unconstitutional and his position as congressman is to uphold the constitution.
Congressman King states that there are many ways to come into the country legally, which brings up the topic of his wife Rosario King who is also an immigrant. The discussion turns back around to immigrants needing to go through the legal process of being a documented citizen.
He also says that these people are the ones starting fires, rising crime rates and taking jobs from legal citizens.
“I have respect for our country and respect for our taxpayers,” he says.
Speaking last, Graves comes back to say how they will continue protesting on campus everyday for the next week until something changes.
She ends the press conference by saying, “I don’t want to lose someone like Mr. Ybarra in my country, that’s for sure.”