LOS ANGELES – Oscar Perez, 16, skipped school Tuesday to go to downtown Los Angeles.
He was one of many students missing class. A large group marched from the Federal Building to McArthur Park in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Perez didn’t tell his parents, yet he’s risking more than a stern lecture by being out in public.
“I want to help people who are like me to get through life with no fear of getting deported,” said Perez.
Perez is an undocumented immigrant so deportation is a threat he faces every day. He came to America when he was 1 year old.
“There’s always that fear of going outside knowing that maybe one day just by going in the morning to school you might get deported or arrested by ICE,” said Perez.
Perez hopes to get relief from DACA one day.
Shortly after his family left Guatemala, Perez says his father’s brother was killed in gang violence. Perez has no memory of that country. Going back would have him fearing for his life.
“It’s a place where I’m scared of going… Hearing stories of people dying every single day, people who my families are close to, cousins, friends, friends of friends, anyone,” said Perez.
As a high school junior Perez is close to graduating. With his fate in the hands of nine Supreme Court justices, the true distance to his diploma is uncertain.