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Local restaurant owner, immigrant recounts trip to Washington for DACA hearings

Posted at 4:00 AM, Nov 22, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The fight in Washington D.C. to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, included local "dreamers."

Zaid Consuegra Sauza was one of the thousands rallying in the streets earlier this month as the Supreme Court of the U.S. considers whether to reverse the controversial immigration program first enacted during the Obama administration.

DACA provides work permits and some protections against deportation for nearly 800,000 young immigrants, who were brought to the United States as children.

Consuegra Sauza runs the vegan diner, Pirate's Bone Burgers, in the Crossroads. He ran a small coffee shop with the same moniker in Brookside before opening his new spot two months ago.

He's also a DACA beneficiary.

Consuegra Sauza was brought to the U.S. from Mexico City when he was 11 years old. Getting DACA in 2015 opened more doors for him, and his dreams evolved into owning a restaurant.

"I have a platform," Consuegra Sauza said. "As small as it is, I have a platform, and it's my duty to reach as many people as possible and provide the information about what's happening and give a face to what a DACA recipient is."

Consuegra Sauza, who works with United we Dream and the KS/MO Dream Alliance, was one of several from Kansas City who went to Washington, an experience he described as mentally and physically exhausting "but worth it."

"For me and for other DACA recipients, we're here because we didn't get a voice and we're providing to the community, trying to be a part of the community," Consuegra Sauza said.

The Supreme Court heard a challenge to DACA earlier this month and is expected to rule on the program's fate next summer.