United We Dream Leaders Meet With President Obama

United We Dream Press Releases

February 4, 2015
Contact: Mario Carrillo | mario@unitedwedream.org | 915.449.6463

At Oval Office Meeting, Dreamers Lay Out Plan to Defend and Implement their Executive Action Victory, Call for Action to Protect Immigrants Left Out and Discuss DACA’s Success

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, three United We Dream leaders, Maria Praeli from Connecticut, Yannick Diouf of Maryland and Rishi Singh from New York City met with President Obama to share their DACA success stories, concerns of the United We Dream membership, including the treatment of those who remain vulnerable to deportation, plans to lead implementation work on the ground and a commitment to defend their community’s victory against right wing attacks. The meeting took place on the day that the Senate is expected to take more symbolic votes to continue deporting Dreamers and parents by undermining executive action

Rishi Singh, a leader from Desis Rising up and Moving, a UWD affiliate, said, “With DACA, I have been able to help support my family and with DAPA, my mother will finally have peace of mind. I told the President that though these victories were a major step forward, far too many in our communities – including my LGBTQ brothers and sisters – won’t qualify and must be protected now and that we can’t wait for Congress to act.

Maria Praeli, member of United We Dream from Connecticut also added, “I told the President that Dreamers are fighting to defend executive action with as much passion as we had in the fight to win it. I told him about my recent experiences confronting Republican Senators like Ted Cruz who looks tough on TV but when I asked him to own up to the fact that votes to undermine executive action are votes to deport me and my mom, he tried to run into an elevator to get away.

“I told him that for us, the fight to win executive action and defend it isn’t political, it’s about people like my mother, Chela Praeli, who couldn’t travel to Peru to be by my grandmother’s side when she passed away. I shared the relief she felt when our community won deferred action for her and millions of other parents, and how it will change her life.”

DACA has been life changing and I want everyone in my community to experience the same thing.”

Yannick Diouf, a leader with the Maryland Dream Youth Committee concluded, “I asked that the President and his cabinet personally hit the road to to engage the diverse immigrant community, to build confidence in the program and make sure millions of people come forward and sign up for deferred action.

“Immigrant youth across the country are already ramping up, hosting informational sessions across the country and preparing our families for protection from deportation and an opportunity at a work permit.

“We are at the forefront of making this victory a reality for millions, and we invite the President to support us in our efforts.”