United We Dream Press Releases 5 Comments

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Katy Green
May 17, 2012

Immigrant Youth Launch National “Right to DREAM” Campaign Calling on
Obama to Provide Relief for All DREAMers

After Tense Meetings with Senior White House Officials,
Immigrant Youth Hold Nationwide Community Rallies to Issue Declaration of DREAMS and Demand Obama End Deportations
Link to recording:

Washington, DC– In the first three years of the Obama Administration, the immigrant community has experienced more deportations than under President Bush or any other President, causing unspeakable pain for Latino and immigrant families – communities the President is especially interested in appealing to this year.

Despite promises for reform and a more moderate deportation policy, the deportations have continued unabated and in many ways, the situation for undocumented youth has gotten worse. On a call today with reporters to announce the Right to Dream launch and day of action, leaders from the United We Dream Network (UWD) reaffirmed their demand of President Obama to grant relief for all DREAMers.

As a sign of the power of the immigrant youth movement, leaders from the United We Dream Network have had direct negotiations with senior White House officials to implore them to use their authority to grant relief. They have also met with key Congressional offices from long-time champions like Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) to Republicans including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as well as 5 other Republican Senators or their staff.

Cristina Jimenez, Managing Director for the United We Dream Network said, “Today our message for President Obama is very clear, enough is enough. We want to live with dignity in this country we call home and you have the power to grant relief to all DREAMers. We’re not backing down, we demand President Obama grant us relief.”

Edder Martinez, an Arizona DREAMer currently in deportation proceedings, said, “ICE thinks they have the right to tear apart families and send students who want to pay taxes and contribute to the only country they know, back to their mother country, myself included. This is the account of thousands of youth across the nation. I am not alone. Today, we unify to seek categorical relief for our immigration status and demand a stop to bipartisan bickering; this is a call to action to both Congress and Obama for relief.”

Consensus in Washington is growing that relief for DREAMers can and should happen. Twenty-two Senators have written a letter to the President asking for relief for DREAM Act eligible youth, legal experts have clarified the President’s authority to take executive action, and this week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) expressed hope that relief is coming soon from the White House. Clearly, the President has the authority to act, but the Administration has refused to reverse course.

Gaby Pacheco, Education not Deportation (END) Project Coordinator for the United We Dream Network said, “I’ve seen far too many DREAMers in deportation proceedings, and unfortunately, the Obama Administration has failed to act. Between record setting deportation numbers and extremist immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama, our community feels as though we are under siege. We’ve held meetings with Cecilia Munoz and Valerie Jarrett, urging the President to use his executive authority and finally put his words in to action by providing relief for all DREAMers. As Latinos consider what the President has done for and to our communities, rest assured this is an issue that will be at the top of their minds. It’s in the President’s best interest to stop the deportations and use his executive authority to act on this issue for the immigrant community.”

Evelyn Rivera, National Coordinating Committee Member with the United We Dream Network and organizer of an event put hosted by undocumented youth and their communities in Orlando, Florida, said, “Today in Orlando we have an action outside of the Obama for America office, we’re very excited about this because we’re taking it to heart of the campaign. We can’t wait anymore. Today is only the beginning and we’re ready to keep going. We’re prepared to escalate and make our message be heard nationwide. We’re here and we’re not leaving until DREAMers everywhere and their families get the relief they deserve.”

In addition to the event today in Orlando, the United We Dream Network and their locally-led organizations of immigrant youth held rallies, marches, and protests around the country. Several of today’s events are set to take place in states with large numbers of Latinos including Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Texas and California. For a full list of events, see below.

See below for a full list of events and for more information on the Right to Dream campaign, visit:

Below is the full list of May 17th events:

Event: Rally Outside of Local Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Office
Where: 2035 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004
When: 10:30 am PDT
Contact: Daniel Rodriguez, 623-206-4243,


Event: The Right to DREAM in Arkansas
Where: College/Dickson intersection in Fayetteville, AR
When: 12pm CDT
Contact: Rosa Velasquez, 870-279-1047;

Event: “Lighting” our Right to Dream
Where: Springdale
When: 9pm CDT
Contact: Rosa Velasquez, 870-279-1047;


Los Angeles
Event: Press conference, rally, and street theater in Front of U.S. Immigration Court Building
Where: 32 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
When: 10am PDT
Contact: Will Prada, 626-824-7262;
Orange County
Event: OC’s Right To Dream – National Day of Action!
Where: South Orange County – Corner of La Zanja and Camino Capistrano
When: 4pm PDT
Contact: Tony Ortuno, (714) 561-8516;


Event: Right to Dream: with Sin Fronteras Youth
Where: Obama for America downtown Orlando office; 1516 E. Colonial Dr
When: 4pm EDT
Contact: Evelyn Rivera, 407-756-2859;

Event: Right to Dream Rally in Miami
Where: Obama for America/Democratic Party Offices- 801 Arthur Godfrey Road, Miami Beach, FL
When: 12pm EDT
Contact: Esteban Roncancio, (305) 316-2385;

Event: “Right to Dream” Prayer Vigil
Where: Holy Cross Catholic Church-15939 SW 150th St, Indiantown, FL
When: 7pm EDT
Contact: Manuel Casas, (772) 323-1893;



Event: “Right to Dream” Campaign Launch
Where: 13624 Vancleave, MS 39565
When: 5pm
Contact: Sara Del Castillo, (228) 365-5140;


Oklahoma City
Event: May 17th National Day of Action: “Right to Dream”
Where: Woodson Park on SW 29th and May in Oklahoma City
When: 12pm CDT
Contact: Kasey Hughart, 918-671-7508;
Event: Dream Act Oklahoma
Where: 6th and Boston in Tulsa OK
When: 11:30am CDT
Contact: Kasey Hughart, 918-671-7508;


Event: May 17th National Day of Action: “Right to Dream” Rally
Where: University of Houston – (1 Main Street, Houston TX 77002)
When: 12pm CDT
Contact: Cesar Espinosa, 832-497-5035; /

Event: Demand the Right to DREAM hosted by the San Antonio Dream Alliance, Students United for the Dream Act and the University Leadership Initiative
Where: LBJ Lawn, near the LBJ Library at the University of Texas, 2313 Red River St. Austin, TX
When: 3pm CDT
Contact: Ainee Athar, University Leadership Initiative, 832-488-7538
Kimberly Rendon, Students United for the Dream Act, 832-273-9805
Nayeli Gomez, San Antonio Dream Alliance, 210-849-8066


Event: Dreamers’ Day of Action: Right 2 EDUCATION
Where: 1027 S 5th ST Milwaukee, WI 53204
When: 4pm CDT
Contact: Lizeth Zorrilla, 414-550-8999;

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