Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision on DACA, we are #HereToStay and will organize to defend our community!
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sheridan Aguirre | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.793.2267
Austin, TX – Today, immigrant youth and allies from Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma rallied outside the office of Attorney General Ken Paxton on the day of the Supreme Court’s hearing on DACA.
AG Ken Paxton kicked off the termination of DACA by providing cover for Trump to end the program. In June 2017, AG Ken Paxton sent a letter to Trump, co-signed by nine other Attorneys General, threatening to sue the Trump administration unless Trump fulfilled his campaign promise to end DACA by the end of the summer. And in August of this year, Paxton filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court calling for the termination of DACA, co-signed by the AZ Attorney General.
The rally was preceded by walkout and march organized by students at Travis High School who are U.S. citizen children of undocumented or immigrant parents. The day of action included members from the United We Dream Network’s TX and NM branches, along with the network’s immigrant youth-led affiliates Dream Action Oklahoma and Living United for Change in Arizona, and partners Texas AFL-CIO, Texas Organizing Project, Workers Defense Project, Texas Freedom Network, Deeds Not Words, Texas AFT, MOVE Texas, and many more.
Fernando, 18, is a U.S. citizen and student who participated in the Travis High School walkout on Congress Ave. In 2008, his mother was incarcerated and his father deported. When Fernando’s mother became terminally ill in 2014, DHS denied his father the chance to see his spouse before she passed away and reunite with his children. Fernando said:
“Incarceration and deportation is the story of many Black, brown and immigrant youth, and it has to end. DACA is just one solution that protects people in our community like my classmates. I am marching for a world that will treat us all with dignity.”
Maribel Rosas, 30, has DACA and is a mother of 3 U.S. citizen children. She said:
“One of the hardest parts of living without DACA was working jobs under the table that paid me $5 an hour and explaining to my children why I was scared to drive them to school. But in the three years I’ve had DACA, I have been able to get a better job as a bank teller and I even bought a house for my family.
No matter what the Supreme Court decides, my home is here: with my kids, my husband, my friends and my community.”
Katy Torrecilla, an undocumented mother from Bastrop, TX whose husband was racially profiled and detained by ICE, said:
“A few months ago, my husband and I were the target of racial profiling. A police officer stopped us and accused my husband of having fake license plates. They later came to my house to arrest him and immediately transferred him to ICE. It was only by coming together that we were able to free him. I am committed today to keep fighting so that no one ever has to go through what my family experienced.”
“Hace unos meses, yo y mi esposo fuimos el blanco de discriminación racial. Una policía nos paró y acusó a mi esposo de haber tenido placas falsos. Después llegaron a mi casa para arrestarlo y lo transfirieron de inmediato a ICE. Era solo con la unión que logramos liberarlo. Yo estoy comprometida el dia de hoy para seguir luchando para que nadie pase por lo que mi familia experimento.”
Arisdelci Gonzalez, 23, is a DACA recipient from Phoenix, AZ and member of UWD affiliate Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA). She said:
“When Trump took away DACA in 2017, I struggled through depression and anxiety alone. But I have seen the power of our people in moments of crisis. We are here to stay and we’re going to make sure that our community knows they are not alone.”
Victor Romero, 19, is a queer immigrant from Albuquerque,NM who formerly had DACA but is now a Legal Permanent Resident. He is a member of the UWD NM branch NM Dream Team. He said:
“For many queer and trans undocumented youth, DACA helped us come out of the shadows and out of the closet. With DACA we have one less barrier to getting jobs, having a roof over our heads, healthcare, and even have access to HIV prevention. The fight to protect DACA is an LGBTQ+ fight!”
Samantha Basave, 21, is a DACA recipient from Oklahoma City, OK and a member of UWD affiliate Dream Action Oklahoma. She said:
“As a high schooler before DACA, I was paralyzed with fear every time I watched my parents go to work, because the first thought that came to mind is that we could lose everything. This fight is bigger than just us with DACA — it’s about our collective freedom and shutting down Trump’s white supremacy and racism.”
Top: Travis HS students march on Congress Ave; Middle: Travis HS students march along Ann Richards Bridge; Bottom: immigrants and allies rally outside the TX AG’s office
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.