"DREAMers" Protest Kris Kobach At Memorial Hall

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Shouts and chants reverberated throughout downtown Topeka Tuesday. A group of students marched to Memorial Hall with a strong message for Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

These young adults happen to be immigrants brought to the United States as children. They are currently attending school, and they say they shouldn't have that right taken away from them.

Kobach filed a lawsuit against President Obama's push for deferred action for young adults and the DREAM Act, which creates a path to citizenship for those brought to the United States illegally as children.

It would affect more than 11,000 young adults in Kansas.

These "DREAMers," fueled by their theme, "Undocumented, Unafraid," demanded that Kobach resign from office and drop the lawsuit. The protesters said he is promoting racism and separating families.

A small group of the protest's leaders went inside the State Office building in hopes of speaking to Kobach to discuss their issues and goals. The Secretary would not come out to speak with them, but Public Affairs Director Kay Curtis received their letter outlining their demands, which will be delivered to Kobach.

Curtis said Kobach doesn't deal with immigration inside the building and that speaking with the students takes away from other things he has to take care of.

Although they didn't get to speak with the man they say is separating families in more states than just Kansas, the protesters made sure their message got across.

Dora Herrera is a student at Wichita State University and she said she thinks Kobach wants her and other students like her to fail.

"I don't think dreaming and wanting to become a better person and wanting to help the state or the country is a crime," she said. She added that she thinks people who work for the country and do so much shouldn't be treated as criminals. Going back to native Mexico would not only be taking her dreams away but putting her family in danger.

Luis Sosa attends Butler Community College and was brought to the country by his parents at a young age. He said education was always drilled into him.

"Everyone has dreams and aspirations but before it was very hard to accomplish all these things," Sosa said. "There were a lot of obstacles. But with deferred action, we can do a lot of these things. I just don't see why he's trying to take it away from us. This is a big opportunity for us."

Ernesto de la Rosa, another protest leader said people like him and the other students want a path to citizenship.

"We want a reform for immigration. We love this country and we want to contribute."

DREAMers from Arizona, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and New York joined the Kansans in their protest. A local immigration attorney was there to represent them, as well as Sunflower Community Action and other activist groups.

It is unclear what the next step will be and if Kobach will reach out to the protesters.


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