A prayer vigil for immigrant children who came to the country illegally but have status protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program set to expire in March is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Fountain Park in downtown Rock Hill.
The vigil on behalf of children known as “Dreamers” is sponsored by Puerta Abierta, an immigrant ministry run by Oakland Baptist Church in Rock Hill, said Blake Hart, who runs the Puerta Abierta ministry at the church. The ministry is a joint venture with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina offering low-cost, immigration legal aid to immigrants.
Puerta Abierta translates to Open Door in English.
The date of the vigil, Dec. 7, marks the midpoint between when President Donald Trump announced in September the rescinding of the DACA program – that took effect in 2012 – and its expected legal end in March.
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Changes to the law, if not postponed as lawmakers debate the issue, would affect more than 800,000 people nationwide including at least 7,000 in South Carolina.
An announcement for the vigil says people will pray for protection of those affected and for lawmakers to pass a bill that would protect the so-called “Dreamers” and their families.
The event is open to the public.