San Antonio and El Paso, Texas – Today, Texas immigrant youth and allies took action at the San Antonio and El Paso/Socorro offices of Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) to bring their lived experiences, truth, persistence, and demands for a clean Dream Act by December.
Today’s actions follow multiple attempts to hear from the Congressman and arrests of four women at Hurd’s Washington, DC office two weeks ago. Congressman Hurd represents a majority-Latino district along the southern border yet has so far refused to co-sponsor a clean Dream Act.
After Trump killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, immigrant youth from Texas and across the nation have become increasingly desperate for the Dream Act.The program offered 124,000 young Texans safety from deportation and the ability to work and seek higher education.
Texas is the frontline of anti-immigrant activity with increasing ICE raids and a growing number of immigrant detention camps. Texans face the possible full implementation of racial profiling law SB 4, a law that puts those formerly protected under DACA at immediate risk for deportation and family separation by turning city and campus law enforcement into immigrant deportation agents.
Karla Tapia, 20, San Antonio resident and DACA beneficiary, said: “I was 15 when DACA was announced and for once my family had hope. I was able to enroll at the Texas A&M San Antonio campus to study to become a neuroscientist. We just saved enough money for my sister to apply for DACA, but were heartbroken when Trump terminated the program. I want Congressman Will Hurd, who represents me and whose office is on my campus, to know that my sister and I need a clean Dream Act before the end of the year. Our futures are on the line.”
Guillermo Jimenez, 25, San Antonio resident and DACA beneficiary, said: “When I was 13 and new to this country, I fell into a depression because I soon learned that there were people who would discriminate against me or use racial slurs because I was undocumented. I’m mad that Trump took away DACA because it was the only thing that made my two siblings and I feel like we belonged and that we could thrive. I want all of my community in San Antonio to know that Rep. Hurd has the power to protect us by passing a clean Dream Act, and we want it done by December.”
Noe Labrado, 22, El Paso resident, DACA beneficiary, and leader with Soñando Juntos, said: “Many like me are losing everything that we have worked for our entire lives, and our cause is now being used by the White House to push their hardline mass-deportation agenda. We must not allow the Dream Act, a clean and inclusive bill, to be undermined and used to terrorize our parents, my border community, or our fellow immigrants.”
“Anti-immigrant policies like SB 4 here in Texas, or those introduced by the current administration, affect all of us. Our message to Congressman Will Hurd today is clear: Stand by us and co-sponsor a clean Dream Act before this year ends, and refute any legislation that puts our communities at risk.”
Julieta Garibay, co-founder and Texas Director of United We Dream, said: “For more than 10 years, undocumented youth from across Texas have come out of the shadows, organized, and refused to back down, even as the Texas legislature passed racist SB 4, even as Trump killed our DACA program, and even as Harvey hit our neighborhoods.”
“Immigrant youth are on the rise in Texas and will not be shut down or pushed out! This week we spoke truth to power at the local offices of Reps. Pete Sessions, Will Hurd and John Culberson to demand that they pass a clean Dream Act by December. We’ve seen them in DC and at home, our persistence will not waver and we are just getting warmed up!”