Washington, DC – October 5th marks one month since Trump shamefully killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, putting the lives of immigrant youth in immediate danger. It’s also the day that Trump decreed all DACA renewal applications must be turned in. After today, waves of more and more immigrant youth will become vulnerable to Trump’s deportation agents every single day. One month of incredible urgency and Congress has yet to act.
Every day since Trump killed DACA, immigrant youth from United We Dream has been on Capitol Hill demanding a clean Dream Act. Called the “honey badger squad,” they have fearlessly stood up to Members of Congress and policymakers demanding a clean Dream Act.
Today, their courageous fight got additional muscle as the progressive movement united around the call for a bipartisan clean Dream Act – without dangerous add-ons to hurt families and communities – is the morally right thing to do. The leaders at today’s event join a growing coalition which spans the political spectrum calling for the Dream Act.
See video of the event here. Following the event, immigrant youth and allies were arrested at the office of Rep. Will Hurd of Texas to demand he co-sponsor the Dream Act. The leaders at today’s event join
Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director of United We Dream said:
“Today, the entire progressive movement is united in declaring a clean Dream Act is the number one political priority. Members of Congress must stop their delays and pass a clean Dream Act before the end of the year! The lives of immigrant youth are on the line and the clock is ticking. We need a clean Dream Act and will resist the politicians who want to build more detention camps, hire more deportation agents and attack my parents!”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said:
“I truly believe that it’s not enough just to know what is right. […] What matters is we stand up and fight for what is right. And what is right is that we have a clean Dream Act!”
Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said:
“We have to make sure everybody understands that this is the top priority for our progressive movement in the United States of America! […] [When] the government has to be reopened by a vote of the Congress of the United States by December 9th, I say there’s either a Dream Act included, or don’t count on Democrats because it’s not a Democratic proposal.”
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) said:
“Let’s be clear about this. Let us walk with our chin up and our shoulders back. Do not cower in the face of any of this. Be proud and understand you are fighting for the future of this country and its promise. […] Let us fight, between now and the end of the year, to pass a clean Dream Act.”
Ben Wikler, Washington, D.C. Director of MoveOn.org, said:
“The fight for a Clean Dream Act is a fight that the entire progressive movement is uniting around — it is our priority and we will win. Dreamers have marched at the Women’s March, rallied outside airports to protest the Muslim ban, and protested outside Congressional offices for healthcare; Dreamers fought for everyone, and now everyone has to fight with them now. To the Republicans who have yet to act, this issue is about your moral character, whether you will represent your constituents who believe immigrant youth, their neighbors and colleagues, are Americans, here to stay, or if you will represent a radical anti-American fringe who wants to tear this country apart. We will be fighting every day, through December, and through election day. If you do not act, this will be your final election.”
Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union said:
“We are here to stay and the 2 million members of SEIU and the 16 million members of the American labor movement and the millions more in the progressive movement are wrapping our arms around the Dreamers and call for the passage of a clean Dream Act! We stand with working people and we stand with 320,000 people whose Temporary Protected Status is being threatened.”
Yuridia Loera, DACA recipient and leader in New Mexico Dream Team, an affiliate of United We Dream, said:
“I am a survivor of sexual violence in a border state with a history of collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE; it was not until I had DACA that I felt protected enough to walk into a police station and report my perpetuator. I have met many women in border states who are subjected to border enforcement every day and are still in the shadows because they fear losing everything if they come forward.
This is why countless immigrant youth have come to Washington, D.C., because our community needs a clean Dream Act now. We are not going to trade protection for immigrant youth in exchange for more dangerous and predatory enforcement. I will not trade my mother, father, and sisters’ lives for my own.”
Rocio Inclan, Senior Director of the National Education Association’s Center for Social Justice, said:
“Today, 200 educators are visiting Congressional offices demanding a clean Dream Act for our students, our communities and yes, 20,000 educators who are able to serve in our public schools because of DACA. On top of hundreds of meetings, we’ve made and sent over 35,000 calls and emails — educators aren’t going to wait six months for a solution, we want it now. Congress, we want you to teach what we stand for as America. We need you to be on the right side of history — pass a clean Dream Act, our children are watching.”
Tom Steyer, President of Next Gen America said:
“When we stand up for Dreamers and the whole immigrant community, what we are really standing up for is justice in America and the rights of Americans everywhere. The triumph of America is when we move our laws to line up with our values — and that’s what we’re asking for today. So let’s live up to our true American values and pass a clean Dream Act.”
Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights said:
“Passing a clean Dream Act is a top priority for civil rights organizations – lives hang in the balance. The civil and human rights coalition stands united with the immigrant families in our communities. We reject any effort to pit immigrant youth against their families and neighbors, and we urge Congress to fix what the Trump administration broke without any divisive amendments.”