FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement from the United We Dream Network on the reintroduction of the DREAM Act:
Our movement continues to do its part, Obama when will you do yours?
We want to thank our champions, Senator Durbin, Menendez, and Reid among the 30 Democratic Senators who demonstrate leadership and commitment to Dreamers and their families by introducing the Federal DREAM Act today in the Senate. We also want to thank our champions in the House, Reps. Berman and Ros-Lehtinen, for their complimentary introduction in the House later this week. Our movement has swept the nation, passing State-level DREAM Act bills in CA and MD, and beating back AZ-copycats in keys states like Florida this past week. We welcome our champions in congress to the movement to secure access to college and legal status for immigrant youth in the U.S. Your commitment and willingness to stick your necks out for us, is indicative of your courage, and we look forward to working with you to secure the DREAM Act and other needed reforms are brought to the President’s desk in this session.
Yesterday, President Obama addressed a crowd in El Paso Texas regarding immigration Reform. Dreamers from across the country watched waiting and hoping to see a concrete action plan that would complement today’s historic introduction of a bill that would bring relief to the more than 2 million Dreamers that would qualify for the DREAM Act. Marisol Davila, a Texas Dreamer and leader in United We Dream, reacted, “I was hoping to see a president in action instead I saw a candidate running for office copying and pasting parts of speeches given since 2008.”
Despite the American Immigration Council report that clearly details the President’s power to stop and delay the deportation of immigrant groups, Obama continues to deny his power. As Chief Immigration Officer he continues to deport Dreamers and their families, despite the support of 20 Senators in his own party, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, national business, and faith leaders for immediate administrative action while congress takes up the issue in this session. We applaud the courage of these leaders who place their political careers on the line in the name of urgent justice; it saddens us to see the President not take up the common-sense demands of his colleagues.
Our President then went on to demonstrate all the leadership and contribution his administration has made to enforcement, as he admitted knowing that the leaders who demand an enforcement-only approach will never be satisfied. While he listed his Administration’s investment in over 20,000 Border Agents, fences, and drone aircraft, we heard crickets when it came to the many actions he has taken to secure relief for our youth and families.
The President called such action “undemocratic”, passing his keys to a congress that has yet to muster the courage to pass this widely accepted piece of immigration reform in the past decade. He blamed it on partisan divides. Although we recognize the complete lack of touch the Republican Party has on this widely-accepted issue we also point out the fact that 5 Senators of his party voted against DREAM in the previous lame duck session, and we only saw action from his Office in the final days. When it comes to addressing the fate of a constituency who has waited over a decade for this issue to move in Washington, Ada Fuentes, Massachusetts Dreamer puts it “We are tired of Obama being our cheerleader we want him to start acting like a quarterback.”
Change takes courage and we hope President Obama can alleviate some of the pain and end the deportations of dreamers, as our Champions in congress work to bring forth legislation that would put to rest this long overdue debate over the fate of immigrant youth in the US. President Obama asked us to join his movement for these reforms, yet today we ask Obama, “When will you join OUR Movement and demonstrate the risk and courage his colleagues and Dreamers across America have demonstrated in the past decade.” This is not the first time he and his administration will hear this and it won’t be the last until we see results from his office. We ask all, especially President Obama to register his actions at www.unitedwedream.org and join US in the movement to win relief and college access for ALL immigrant youth.
United We Dream Network is a national network of immigrant youth that organize and advocate for access to college and legal status for ALL. We have members in over 25 states, you can learn more at www.unitedwedream.org