Major Escalation Underway As 1,500 Immigrant Youth Descend On Washington From Across the Country In Fight For Their Lives
For Immediate Release
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WASHINGTON — This week, Democratic Senate leaders will decide whether they will keep their word to immigrant youth to deliver the Dream Act. As 850 immigrant youth lose their protection from deportation every day, as children and young people are being dragged to detention camps, the urgent need for action is dire.
The leaders of MoveOn.org Civic Action, United We Dream, the National Immigration Law Center and Indivisible gathered on a press conference call to deliver a clear message to Democratic congressional leaders: fulfill your promise to use your leverage to deliver on the Dream Act. Listen to a recording of today’s call here.
Immediately following the call, immigrant youth from across the country led sit-ins at nine congressional offices of members who have refused to use their leverage to pass the Dream Act this year. The young leaders visited the offices of Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). Young people are also in the offices of Representatives Martha McSally (R-AZ), Steve Pearce (R-NM), Bill Flores (R-TX), Pete Sessions (R-TX). Today’s action are just the beginning of an unprecedented week of action with over 1,500 immigrant youth who will visit 33 offices tomorrow alone. See video of today’s sit-ins here and see photos on twitter at #DreamActNow.
Anna Galland, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Civic Action said: “I am proud to announce that today, we released a new member survey of MoveOn members in Arizona, California, Indiana, Missouri, and Nevada showing that if the end-of-year spending bill fails to include the Dream Act, progressives may support primary challenges against Democratic Senate candidates. The results leave no room for interpretation: progressive voters expect Democrats to stand with Dreamers and pass a clean Dream Act this year.”
Cristina Jimenez, Executive Director and Co-Founder of United We Dream added, “Young people sat in 10 Congressional offices today and will go to 33 Congressional offices tomorrow unless those members of congress commit to using all of their leverage to withhold their vote from the spending bill unless it includes the Dream Act. 850 young people lose their protection from deportation every week so delay on the Dream Act means deportation for young people like my brother Jonathan.”
“Recent key races in places like Alabama, Virginia and New Jersey should send a clear message to lawmakers: communities of color are paying attention. We are engaged and will turn out to make sure that we are electing champions to represent us. That’s a message that Democrats especially should not take lightly,” said Marielena Hincapie, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center.
Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director of the Indivisible Project said, “Democratic leadership promised to use their leverage in December to get the Dream Act passed and we expect them to deliver. The time for big speeches is over. The only thing that matters is how each Democrat votes. A vote for the Continuing Resolution without a Dream Act is a vote to deport Dreamers.”
Dana E. Singiser Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America said, “Planned Parenthood calls on Congress to act now to immediately pass the bipartisan Dream Act. To protect DACA recipients by including a clean Dream Act in the federal spending bill that needs to pass by this Friday.”
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.