The largest and first immigrant youth-led network in the U.S., United We Dream, is reacting to proposed legislation to address the status of undocumented youth, DREAMers like ourselves, from Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV). Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy and Policy for United We Dream, said:
“Congressman Heck’s proposed bill addressing DREAMers is a step forward in a debate that’s been stalled for too long by the failure of House leadership to act. The bill includes encouraging provisions, like the inclusion of older DREAMers and a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants through apprenticeships or vocational programs, as well as higher education or military service.
There are also pieces we continue to push for– a path to citizenship for undocumented children or “little dreamers,” a streamlined process for deferred action recipients, and a way for deported DREAMers to return to the U.S. and be able to access a path to citizenship.
We know that this is just a small step and the moral crisis in our communities will not end until President Obama stops deporting 1,100 people everyday and Congress acts on a permanent solution that addresses DREAMers and our parents. A bill that addresses the status of immigrant youth is only one piece of the puzzle.
Immigration reform must provide protections for our entire community–a solution for DREAMers and not our parents is not acceptable to our network. We hope to work with leaders in the House of Representatives to ensure that positive provisions in Rep. Heck’s bill are included in a package of “piecemeal” immigration bills or comprehensive legislation.
Rep. Heck must fight for our families and push his party’s leadership to act now on immigration reform; introducing a bill for political cover, without the commitment and motivation to move real legislative solutions forward, will not win our community’s support. If he is serious about advancing a solution for DREAMers and our families, he can start by signing onto H.R. 15 and demanding that his party’s leadership stop blocking a vote on immigration reform.
We will not give up until we win justice and equality for our families and we know the fight will continue beyond any legislation, Congress, or administration.”
United We Dream is the first and largest immigrant youth-led network in the nation with 52 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.