When U.S. President Donald Trump takes the stage next week for the State of the Union address, several young Oregonians who have a stake in the ongoing immigration debate will be in the audience.
Aldo Solano is one of them. The debate raging on Capitol Hill has thrust the 24-year-old Portland Community College student’s life into a state of constant uncertainty.
Solano could lose his legal status if Congress doesn’t extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“We need a solution now,” he said at a press conference Friday.
Solano will be attending the speech in Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s stead. Blumenauer, a Democrat, said he will stay in Oregon and meet with constituents instead of attending the speech.
Other members of the Congressional delegation are taking DACA recipients as their guests. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, will be accompanied by Daysi Bedolla, a junior at Eastern Oregon University who is the student body president.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, will be attending along with Leonardo Reyes, who attended Western Oregon University and currently works for the state as a bilingual eligibility specialist.
Merkley said Trump’s move to reverse the DACA policy would affect 11,000 DACA recipients in Oregon. In a statement, Merkley called it heartless and shortsighted.
“As President Trump addresses Congress next week, he will look up and see the young leaders he has promised to treat ‘with great heart’—and he will see that we are determined to hold him to that promise,” Merkley said.