Cuellar (D-TX) Tries to Ditch Immigrant Youth

United We Dream Press Releases

Immigrant Youth March to Cuellar Office to Say SHAME and Demand Congressman Commits to Dream Act This Year

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sheridan Aguirre | | 202.793.2267

Washington, DC – With just days left to pass the Dream Act before the end of the year, and with immigrant youth losing their protections from deportation and being dragged to detention camps, Rep. Cuellar refuses to use his leverage to get Congress to pass the Dream Act by December 22nd.

Cuellar, who represents more than 18,000 Dream Act-eligible young immigrants in Central to South Texas, is a co-sponsor of the Dream Act, a bipartisan bill with widespread support that would make it possible for more than 2 million immigrant youth to provide for themselves and their families.

On C-SPAN, Cuellar said about forcing a vote on the Dream Act at the end of the year: “With all respect, even though I’m a strong supporter of DACA, I don’t think that’s the right way of doing it.”

Julieta Garibay, Texas Director and co-founder, United We Dream said:

“Immigrant youth in Texas have one message for Representative Cuellar: a vote on an end of year spending bill that does NOT include the Dream Act means a vote for deportations. Delays mean deportation!

“As a Democrat in Congress, Cuellar has leverage to use, and his refusal to use it is a giant slap in the face to the 18,000 young people from his district who are losing protection by the day, and who have no time to deal with his Washington excuses.

“With all respect, Rep. Cuellar, we can’t wait any longer.”

“Texas has been an epicenter of anti-immigrant hate. Rosa Maria, the 10-year-old Texas girl with cerebral palsy who was dragged from her hospital to a detention camp, would be protected by the Dream Act. That’s why immigrant youth have chosen to make Texas the epicenter of resistance and will be at Congress’ doorstep next week to do whatever it takes to demand Congress do what is right. Rep. Cuellar: we demand the Dream Act now!”

Alberto Castilleja, Laredo, Texas resident, and DACA recipient said:

“Rep. Cuellar’s failure to commit to passing a Dream Act before the holidays tells me that he is closing his eyes and ears to the pain of his constituents. The fact is that immigration checkpoints and racial profiling laws in our state are tearing apart families and the Dream Act would protect millions. This is not about a government shutdown, this is about denying two million people like me the opportunity to live in peace. We have been forced into a corner where we risk losing the lives we have built in the places we call home— we need the Dream Act now. If you vote for a spending bill at the end of the year that does not include protections for us, you are voting to deport us — it’s as simple as that. ”

Deyanira Aldana, DACA recipient and organizer at United We Dream, said:

“We got the call from Texas about what Cuellar said and marched to his office with the stories of immigrant youth who are losing DACA protections — we let him know exactly why he needs to commit to passing the Dream Act by the end of the year. When immigrant youth are under attack, we unite and fight back!”


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.