900 Immigrant Youth and Allies Rally and Nearly 100 Are Arrested at Capitol; More Than 40 Actions Nationwide

Sheridan Aguirre Press Releases

Say: Enough Political Games, Protect Immigrant Youth Now!

Trump killed DACA, gave Congress until March 5 to protect immigrant youth and then the Republicans sabotaged the Dream Act and THREE bipartisan proposals

For Immediate Release Contact:
Bruna Bouhid | bruna@unitedwedream.org | 202-850-0812
Samy Olivares | solivares@populardemocracy.org | 929-285-9623

Washington, D.C. – Immigrant youth and allies marched to the Capitol in joyful rebellion to reclaim their humanity from Trump’s sick political games and to demand that Republicans protect immigrant young people without hurting their parents of other members of the immigrant community. They also called on Congress to reject Trump’s demand for billions of dollars for even more deportation agents and detention camps. Nearly 100 people were arrested in between civil disobedience in front of the Capitol and in visits to offices of Members of Congress.

Today was the cruel deadline that Trump gave Congress to fix the crisis he started when he rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He gave Congress until March 5 to solve the crisis he created and then – along with Republican Congressional leaders – sabotaged THREE bipartisan proposals to protect immigrant youth and have continued to block the Dream Act.

See photos of the action below as well as on Twitter with the hashtag #DreamActNow and #HereToFight. Videos of today’s action can be seen here, here and here.

Since Trump killed DACA, immigrant youth have been losing protections every day and now that number is set to quadruple. Instead of becoming citizens, immigrant youth are being hunted.

  • Miguel Reyes Garcia, a DACA recipient who has lived in New Jersey since the age of nine and was profiled by ICE and locked in a detention camp.
  • Dennis Rivera – Sarmiento, an undocumented high school student  from Texas with plans to graduate this May, but was detained after standing up to a bully at school. Although Dennis didn’t qualify for DACA protections, he would benefit from the Dream Act.
  • Edder Rizo Sanchez who was detained with his DACA but has been kept in a detention camp since November.

Today, religious leaders, people of conscience, immigrant youth and families put their bodies on the line to protect immigrants, protect our democracy and demand justice. It is a model for resistance that every person in this country can take to heart.

Karen Perez-Wilson, a member of United We Dream from Wisconsin who would qualify for the Dream Act said:

“Today, we marched and rallied to reclaim our humanity from Trump and Republicans’ dehumanizing political games. Seeing leaders from the Jewish and Muslim community, as well as women and LGBTQ leaders risk arrest to demand that Speaker Paul Ryan protect immigrant youth and bring the Dream Act to a vote  was amazing. I felt empowered knowing that our immigrant community isn’t alone and that our struggles are connected. We are #HeretoStay and #HeretoFight.

“We knocked on Paul Ryan’s door over and over, and he refused to open it because he didn’t want to hear from those most impacted by Trump’s racist policies. Paul Ryan has shown the state of Wisconsin and the rest of our country what side of history he stands on, and clearly that side has chosen to continue to terrorize our immigrant communities.”

Ana María Archila, Co-Executive Director of Center for Popular Democracy said:

“Since Trump made the heartless and cruel decision to end DACA six months ago, hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who grew up in the United States have been living with uncertainty – wondering if they will have to drop out of school, lose their job, be torn away from their families or uprooted from their home.

“Dreamers have expressed disappointment and frustration with Congress for not taking action and have repeatedly demanded a solution. The resiliency of immigrant youth has given  hope to millions. ‘You can take away our papers,’ they have said, ‘but you cannot take away our dignity.’ On March 5th, we mobilize across the country to stop the political games and we won’t stop until all immigrants are safe.”

Today’s action is the culmination of over six months of continuous activity to protect immigrants and pass the Dream Act. It was a collaborative effort by the organizations below who have pledged to continue fighting to stop the mass deportation agenda.

United We Dream  (@UNITEDWEDREAM)

Center for Popular Democracy  (@popdemoc)

The Women’s March (@womensmarch)

MPower Change  (@MPower_Change)

FIRM/Center for Community Change  (@Re4mImmigration)

National Domestic Workers Alliance  (@domesticworkers)

Church World Service  (@CWS_Global)

Undocublack Network  (@Undocublack)

CPD Action  (@CPDAction)

Make The Road NY (@MaketheRoadNY)

Make The Road PA (@MaketheRoadPA)

Bend The Arc Jewish Action  (@bend_thearc)

ACLU (@aclu)

MoveOn.org (@moveon)

Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam)

SEIU (@SEIU)

We Belong Together (@WomenBelong)

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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.