WASHINGTON, D.C. – Starting today, from Phoenix to Miami to Washington D.C., United We Dream leaders and their families will be participating in 30 days of sustained escalation and action to pressure Congress to end the pain in our communities. DREAMers are fighting for families to be able to live free from fear, pressing President Obama to halt deportations and calling on Speaker John Boehner to give us a vote on immigration reform that ends senseless family separation and creates a clear path to citizenship.
Vigils, marches, and Congressional office takeovers will be taking place in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, New York, Virginia, and other states, demanding that Members of Congress like Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) co-sponsor H.R. 15 and help deliver immigration reform that keeps our families together and provides relief to our communities.
“United We Dream has been at the forefront of the fight for years, but we’re making sure our actions now reflect the urgency of the moment we’re in,” said Maria Fernanda Cabello, an organizer with United We Dream and a DREAMer from Texas. “The House has delayed too long already. The cost of inaction is staggering. Across the country, we’re holding vigils and sit-ins to voice the pain in our community and force Congress and President Obama to take action this year.”
Last week, President Obama urged Congress to turn their attention to immigration reform with the government shutdown finally over, only two weeks after he said that there was nothing he could do to stop deportations. As Obama reiterates his support for a permanent legislative solution to the moral crisis our community faces, we’ll hold him accountable for doing his part to stop tearing families apart, especially given that almost 2 million people have been deported on his watch.
“If the President is committed to immigration reform, he needs to scale stop deportations that take away the very same people he thinks should be put on a path to citizenship,” said Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream. “Some Republicans have said they can’t negotiate in good faith with the President especially after the debt ceiling and budget debacle. But for them to hide behind this excuse will only solidify the electoral price they will have to pay if they refuse to deliver.”
United We Dream will continue fighting for families and oppose any legislation that criminalizes or terrorizes undocumented immigrants, such as the “unSAFE Act.” Legislation must provide our communities with protection from deportations and senseless enforcement while affirming the dignity and hard work of our families, and for the next 30 days and beyond, we’ll remind Congress and the President that inaction will not stand.
United We Dream is the first and largest immigrant youth-led network in the nation with 51 affiliate organizations in 25 states that organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status. UWD’s current priority is to win citizenship for the entire undocumented community and end senseless abuses and deportations.