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Washington, DC – Today people of conscience all across the world united in defense of immigrants and refugees against the incoming Trump regime’s plans for deportations, criminalization and hatred.
With one voice, advocates of all backgrounds pledged to unite in defense of immigrants and refugees and to prevent deportations. They pledged to defend the protections that immigrants have today, like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and to fight for local sanctuaries of safety in states, cities, schools and churches.
In over 70 events in cities nationwide, allies marched and held vigils, art creations, and mass community gatherings to build momentum for sanctuaries of safety and deportation defense networks in cities, schools, churches and states. The mobilization day is part of a growing wave of resilience and defiance against Trump’s promises to rip families apart, create a Muslim registry and enact policies like “stop and frisk” rooted in racial profiling and discrimination.
Across the globe, we saw outpours of support on social media. To view photos and videos from all the events, check out #HereToStay on Twitter.
According to Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director & Co-Founder of United We Dream, “We are just getting started. Together we will defend DACA and together we will protect immigrants and refugees. Politicians shouldn’t underestimate the resilience of immigrants and the millions of people of all backgrounds who stand with us. This is our home and my family and millions like us are #HereToStay. I was so proud to stand in an historic African American church for this celebration today and to know that around the country – from San Diego to McAllen to Houston to Miami – people were coming together in a beautiful multiracial force of defiance.”
Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice of Center for Community Change, said “We hope that every Senator and every Member of Congress saw our actions and hear our words, and we want President elect Trump to understand the might, the resiliency and the power of our immigrant families and the immigrant rights movement. We lifted the voices of immigrant and refugee leaders of all backgrounds and affirm our shared values around Unity, Love, Resistance, Defense and Sanctuary. We not only pronounced our shared commitment to protect and defend immigrant families from attack — but we launched our movement’s demands of this new administration, which include respect for the civil rights and dignity for the recipients of DACA, for undocumented immigrant families, for refugees at risk, and for Muslim families.”
Rocio Sáenz, International Executive Vice President of SEIU, said “SEIU members and our allies will use our collective power to fight for a better future for our families, prevent deportations, and protect immigrants, Muslims and refugees. We are committed to building a wider movement around the struggle we share for economic, racial, immigrant and environmental justice. Today’s Day of Action occurred during Martin Luther King weekend, and we know that the fights for immigrant justice and racial justice and economic justice are all interconnected. We took action today to keep Dr. King’s dream of justice alive in these tough times.”
According to Maria Fernanda Durand, a spokesperson from CASA, “As the largest immigrant advocacy group in the Mid-Atlantic, CASA’s goal has always been to protect immigrant rights. Our job is that much more important now. We will not be victimized, we will act. Today, we brought 24 buses filled with Dreamers, undocumented immigrants, and allies from Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania down to the D.C. rally. We heard from Senator Van Hollen, Representative Gutierrez, and Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards and reminded the nation that we will fight whatever is put forth under this new administration.”