Responds to weeks of escalating pressure from immigrant youth in CA and Washington to pass the Dream Act
For Immediate Release
California, Washington, D.C. – With less than two days remaining this year to pass the Dream Act, immigrant youth successfully pushed Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to commit to vote NO on any Continuing Resolution that does not include the Dream Act. The commitment comes after weeks of pressure by immigrant youth in California and Washington, DC who marched and took over her DC and CA offices.
Democrats have been under increasing pressure to use all of their leverage to protect immigrant youth and pass the Dream Act, a bipartisan bill that would protect more than 2 million immigrant young people from deportation and create a pathway to citizenship.
Click here for video of Sen. Feinstein speaking to immigrant youth sitting in at her office and committing to vote no on a Continuing Resolution without protections for immigrant youth and see here for her written statement.
Over 850 young people are losing their protection from deportation every week and are being taken by deportation agents now. There is no time to delay.
Jennifer Cruces-Peña, 18, DACA recipient who joined in today’s action, said:
“My family’s greatest fear is that my little brother could lose his entire family to deportation. That’s why I’m here today, because I owe this to my little brother, my community, and myself. The Senator should encourage others from her party to join her, and commit to voting no on any Continuing Resolution that does not include the Dream Act because my family and I are here to stay, and we need the Dream Act today!”
Eric Yang, 25, DACA recipient and community leader, Korean Resource Center, said:
“I am incredibly proud of my community for advocating for undocumented families, including mine. Senator Feinstein did the right thing. Now is the time for other Democratic Senators to join a growing number of their colleagues to make the same commitment to the Dream Act and me.”
Luis Serrano-Taha, Communications and Digital Media Strategist, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA) and potential Dream Act beneficiary, said:
“The immigrant youth of CIYJA took over the offices of our Senator because the lives of millions of young immigrants are in grave danger and she needed to commit to using her leverage to pass the Dream Act. Our protections from deportation are being taken away each week which and we can’t wait any longer. We demand a solution to protect immigrant youth that does not come at the price of putting other immigrants in harm’s way. We have to continue moving forward in solidarity and not in silos.”
Greisa Martinez Rosas, Advocacy Director, United We Dream and potential Dream Act beneficiary, said:
“Any Democrats who vote for the spending bill without the Dream Act will be members of the shameful Deportation Caucus. They either use all of their power to pass the Dream Act or they are simply enablers of the mass deportation agenda.”
Mitzi Velasquez, DACA recipient who joined in today’s action, said:
“Our actions are showing results. The fact that senator Feinstein looked us in the eye to say she will not vote for a Continuing Resolution that does not have the Dream Act gave me hope that one day I will have the chance to travel to see my brother again.”
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.