Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate is set to hold hearings on Donald Trump’s first two major cabinet nominees: Senator Jeff Sessions who has been nominated to be the next Attorney General of the United States and General John Kelly, who has been nominated to serve as the next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Their incoming boss – Donald Trump – has campaigned on increasing the power of the ugly side of the agencies they have been nominated to lead – demanding racial profiling, mass deportation and misery for people of color.
On Capitol Hill today, over 30 United We Dream leaders from Oklahoma, Texas, California, Florida, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, and New Mexico came to make their voices heard. Among them are U.S. citizen children of undocumented and DACAmented parents, individuals with DACA, undocumented immigrant workers, and mothers. They range in age from eight on up.
Greisa Martinez, Advocacy Director for United We Dream offered the following statements on each of the nominees being considered by the Senate today. Greisa is currently protected from deportation and able to work because of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), her mother is undocumented and her sister is a U.S. Citizen:
Martinez on Sen. Jeff Sessions:
“United We Dream stands in opposition to the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General of the United States. Our message to Republican and Democratic Senators is clear: A vote for Sessions is a vote against our community.”
“If you vote for Sessions as attorney General, you are responsible for his actions. And the safety and security of our families and millions just like us are in your hands; we will hold you accountable.”
“Jeff Sessions has spent his entire career lashing out at the rights of people of color, women, LGBTQ people and immigrants. Jeff Sessions represents injustice, not justice, and should be rejected. For too long, Republicans have allowed Sessions to steer their immigration policy and whether he sits in the Attorney General’s office or in the Senate, we will unite with our brothers and sisters of all backgrounds to oppose him.”
Martinez on Gen. John Kelly:
“We want to know whether Gen. John Kelly intends to go down in history as the DHS Secretary responsible for the elimination of DACA and bringing terror to my doorstep or the voice of reason that preserves it.
“My sister and I are protected from deportation because of DACA along with 750,000 other young people. The program has provided a level of security and stability for entire families, like my mother who is undocumented and lives in a home I bought for us.”
“Under Secretaries Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson, we fiercely opposed the horrific and out of control immigration detention and deportation machine and General Kelly should know that we’ll be there, every step of the way, defending our people and doing everything we can to keep our families together.”