Washington, DC – As reported in Politico, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has convened to start working on immigration reform legislation and the largest immigrant-youth led organization in the country, United We Dream, is calling on this “Gang of 8” to listen to the American people and create a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million people in the U.S. without papers.
“The November 2012 election was a watershed moment in American politics and both parties have to take Latino and immigrant voters seriously,” said New Jersey DREAMer Juan Pablo Orjuela, National Coordinating Committee for UWD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “I am proud to see my Senator, Bob Menendez, taking a lead role in seizing this moment. DREAMers are making our demands known to both parties—we want a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants across the country. We, along with our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters, deserve fair treatment and a chance to become citizens of the country we all call home. We won the deferred action victory from the President and we won’t stop fighting until we achieve a permanent solution that protects DREAMers, families, workers, and communities.”
A strong majority of Americans (62% in a poll released yesterday by Politico and George Washington University) support immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Additionally, polls have shown that a majority support the President’s decision to stop deporting DREAMers and 77% support the DREAM Act. It is time for politicians to catch up to DREAMers and the American people and deliver a real solution.
United We Dream’s 47 affiliate organizations in 25 states unanimously ratified UWD’s official platform for change on December 2 in Kansas City, MO, insisting on fairness and citizenship for the entire community and are communicating these principles to this new working group of Senators:
1. Fair treatment for DREAMers and our families and communities, including a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million Americans without papers and an end to senseless deportations and abuses
2. The ability to travel without fear, ensuring all immigrants have access to driver’s licenses and the ability to visit family in other countries
3. The elimination of barriers to higher education for immigrant youth by extending state and federal financial aid opportunities, as well as in-state tuition rates to DREAMers available to our peers
4. An end to excessive and costly immigration enforcement policies which separate families and divide communities, such as “Secure Communities,” E-Verify, 287G, and roadside checkpoints
5. Access to health care and safe, fair working conditions and equal protection under the law for all
6. Growth and diversity of our movement for change, intensifying efforts to become more inclusive of non-Latinos, LGBTQ communities, different-bodied people, people of faith, and other groups
Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen.-elect Jeff Flake (R-AZ) make up the “Gang of 8” and United We Dream is sending a clear message to these senators: citizenship is the solution.
United We Dream is the first and largest immigrant youth-led network in the nation with 47 affiliate organizations in 25 states that organize and advocate for a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented Americans; fair treatment under the law for all, including access to higher education, health care, and safe, fair working conditions; and an end to senseless deportations and abuses.