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Colorado DREAMers Hoping For More Permanent Solution From Washington

By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) - A few dozen people carrying signs gathered in Denver's Uptown neighborhood in a park urging the community to call their U.S. Senators to support a bill to keep DACA -- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -- alive.

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It allows those who came to the United States illegally with their parents when they were young. Those children are known as DREAMers.

Colorado Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet have expressed sympathy and support for the demonstrators plight.

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"I remember it was scary to move to a country where I didn't speak the language," said  Cesiah Guadarrama, a DREAMer.

She came from Mexico as a child through no choice of her own. That town was recently racked by a deadly earthquake. She wants to stay here.

"I think it would be very challenging to go back to a country I didn't live in, where I didn't to to school," she said.

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CBS4's Rick Sallinger interview Cesiah Guadarrama. (credit: CBS)

She went to school at Metro State paid for by a private benefactor. That's where the big rally to support DACA was held last September which drew thousands of people.

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"If we don't fight back they are going to take our rights away" one speaker shouted at that rally.

Their future now remains very much in doubt.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger asked Guadarrama, "Would you willingly go back to Mexico?" She answered, "No. I think I would fight my case even in a deportation center."

Guadarrama works as a community organizer for the nonprofit organization 9-5.

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She says her home is here, her family is here. Colorado is her home.

But the anxiety she feels is difficult to live with.

"What would you like to say to President Trump," Sallinger asked.

"I would like to tell him these are our lives. We got to stop being used as a political tactic going back and forth," Guadarrama said.

The demonstrators told stories of how they came to the U.S. and the opportunities they have taken advantage of while here.

They chanted, "Build bridges, not walls. If they build it, tear it down."

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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