Austin, TX – Following nearly 24 hours in jail, community members were released from Travis County Jail this evening after a protest at TX Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office demanding he cease his threat to kill the DACA program and terrorize 800,000 immigrant youth.
Yesterday, these Freedom Warriors joined immigrant youth and allies across the country, as part of a nationwide movement to defend the DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs, and expose the mass deportation agendas of extremist Republicans like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Julieta Garibay, Campaigns Director and United We Dream co-founder said: Six Texas community leaders — educators, labor advocates, and activists, were jailed for nearly 24 hours after sending a clear message to Paxton: We will not be quieted and we will not back down!
We call on people of conscience across the country to take bold action to defend DACA and demand that Paxton stop his attacks on our people.
DACA, TPS, and the nearly 1 million immigrants protected by these programs are under immediate threat. With less than 3 weeks until September 5, it will take creative and powerful people across the country who are willing to put it all on the line, like these six Texans, to #DefendDACA for our community. This fight belongs to each and every one of us. It’s time for each of us to rise up as Freedom Warriors to #DefendDACA and the immigrant community!”
Jose P. Garza, executive director of the Workers Defense Project, said: “We applaud the courage and leadership of the freedom warriors that stood up to Ken Paxton to defend DACA. Our state’s economy, workforce, and families benefit from DACA. We will continue to fight for immigration relief programs.”
The courageous DACA Defenders, United We Dream members, and allies, said:
Montserrat Garibay, Vice President for Certified Employees at Education Austin: “I stepped up in this moment for the dreams of all DACA recipients. This is for our DACAmented students and teachers.”
Rachel Hassell, Graduate Student, University of Houston: “Yesterday, I brought my defense of DACA to Ken Paxton’s doorstep because I seek equity for all students in our Higher Education system, and DACA has helped hundreds of thousands of young people get one step closer to that. I put my body on the line for my Dreamer scholars.”
Patrick Harvey: “I’m here today because I know everyone has a role to play to protect immigrant families, and I’m committed to doing my part until it’s clear that DACA is no longer under threat. This moment is for my grandson, and in honor of my late mother-in-law, and it is just the beginning.”
Alice Serna-McDougald: “I’m called to act because of the values I was raised with. I do this for Jesusa Ozuna, and Guillermo and Marcelina Serna.”
Chris Wager Saldívar: “Someone once said that, ‘Solidarity is what love looks like in public.’ I put my body on the line in solidarity with my DACAmented and undocumented familia.”
Ken Zarifis: “I am inspired to take action by my students, and the families of my students who’ve grown up to be educators because DACA made that a possibility. This is for every Dreamer I’ve ever met, for making me proud to be an American, because I don’t always feel that way with the state of terror in this country. This is for them, and all they’ve overcome to get to the places they’re at today.”