A project of the Center for Community Change

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

FIRM Groups Urge Congress to Pass DREAM Act Now, Hold Actions Nationwide


December 19, 2017

FIRM Groups Urge Congress to Pass DREAM Act Now, Hold Actions Nationwide

With 122 DACAmented youth losing their status each day, Congress must act before leaving for recess

(Washington, D.C.)—Undocumented immigrants, their friends, families, and progressive allies took action in Washington, D.C., and in cities across the nation, to urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act now, before they leave for the holiday recess. In D.C., hundreds of activists visited more than 45 congressional offices, and staged sit-ins at more than two dozen offices. Targets included both Democrats and Republican senators and representatives.

“Members of Congress have to decide if they will side with white supremacists, or if they will vote to protect the more than 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who are every bit American,” said Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) spokesperson Kica Matos. “Passing the DREAM Act is about upholding our nation’s values of freedom, opportunity, justice and equality—it’s about walking the walk. Congress needs to do its job and protect these DREAMers.”

After President Trump recklessly ended DACA in September, 800,000 DACAMented youth came face-to-face with their worst nightmare. Each day, 122 of those youth are forced to put their lives on hold as they see their status expire. In California, CHIRLA led a “Grinch visit” to Representative McCarthy’s office in Bakersfield. The group sent a delegation of 15 to D.C. and will drive calls to members of Congress on Wednesday.

Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director said, “A vote delayed is justice delayed. Congress has the moral and political responsibility to make sure these 800,000 young immigrants do not spend their holidays worried sick about their future and families. The mathematics of the DREAM Act are tremendously positive for our nation’s economy. The humanity of passing the DREAM Act will protect families, lift our values about politics, and secure this Congress a place in history.”

On Tuesday, Make the Road New York showed up to Senator Schumer’s New York home with hundreds of activists to drop of nearly a quarter of a million signatures calling on the Senate Minority Leader to push Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act before the end of the year.

“It’s crunch time for Congress to deliver for immigrant youth and their families,” said Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York. “As approximately 122 Dreamers lose DACA every day, we’re counting on our allies in Congress to produce results and pass a clean DREAM Act by Christmas. In New York, our members rallied today outside of Senator Schumer’s office asking him to use the considerable leverage of Senate Democrats to deliver the DREAM Act that our community so desperately needs. And we’ll make sure those members of Congress who are still undecided hear our voices loud and clear: our members will spend all week in Washington making sure that every single member of Congress hears their demand.”

In Washington, OneAmerica held a symbolic holiday dinner. In Arizona, activists gathered at a rally outside of Senator Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) office. In Nevada, PLAN members delivered letters from affected DACA holders to Senator Heller’s (R-NV) Las Vegas office. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) held a rally before marching to Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) to demand that he withhold his vote for any spending bill that does not include the DREAM Act.

Lawrence Benito, CEO of ICIRR added, “Immigrant families need protection today and delaying the DREAM Act is irresponsible and cruel. Across the nation our communities are telling Congress they must act now for the sake of the futures of 11 million people who deserve to live in peace and dignity.”


Joyous Families Celebrate Historic Breakthrough on Immigration

For Immediate Release: Friday, November 20, 2014
Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org 202.339.9331
Bernardita M. Yunis Varas, byunisvaras@communitychange.org 202.339.9377

Joyous Families Celebrate Historic Breakthrough on Immigration
Years of Courage and Persistence Pay Off in Huge Step Forward on Immigration

(WASHINGTON)—Today, millions of immigrant families are celebrating the historic breakthrough on immigration that provides them with the opportunity to remain in the U.S. and continue to contribute to America. The new deferred action program for parents, crucial updates to the existing DACA program for DREAMers and a series of other administrative and enforcement reforms to update our outdated immigration system will provide major relief to immigrant families.

“President Obama did not win or lose and the GOP did not win or lose today,” said Kica Matos, spokesperson for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM). “This is a major victory for the immigrant rights movement in America. This victory belongs to the millions of immigrants who stood up and were unafraid.”

“This victory was more than a decade in the making and it shows that America does give way to the voices of real people,” Matos added. “Women won the right to vote, the labor movement built the middle class, people standing up for civil rights ended Jim Crow, LGBT people are ending marriage discrimination as we speak. And today, the immigrant rights movement led by families took a huge step in the fight for immigration reform and toward citizenship.”

“The President’s decision will transform the lives of millions of people who came to this country in search of a better life. This year, families will sit down at the Thanksgiving table with less fear that a broken immigration system will tear them apart.”

Matos noted the administrative reforms announced by President Obama will not cover all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

“The struggle is not over until everyone has freedom from fear of detention, deportation and family separation,” Matos said. “We will not stop fighting until everyone has a path to citizenship.”

She also noted that the enforcement reforms announced by the Administration could offer protection to many of the people not covered by deferred action – if they are actually implemented properly by DHS.

“We are committed to keep fighting to ensure that DHS reins in ICE and CBP, agencies that routinely ignore their own stated enforcement priorities,” Matos said.

She also noted that the action announced today is temporary and that we need comprehensive immigration reform as a permanent fix.

“To those who would try to take this victory away and tell immigrant families ‘you are not welcome,’ we say you are on the wrong side of history,” Matos said. “Like all those who have stood against the arc of justice, you will be judged harshly. We will not forget. The immigrant rights movement is committed to full scale mobilization, not only to protect this historic step, but to parlay it into full inclusion and citizenship for all families.”

“This victory belongs to immigrants who stood up and said ‘I am a part of America and I am not afraid,’” Matos said.


Youth Activists Tell Their Stories

Today, 17 activists, four of whom were minors, visited the offices of Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Eric Cantor, and Speaker John Boehner to demand that they put an end to family separation by bringing immigration reform to a vote in the House.



Unfortunately, Mr. McCarthy locked out our young activists, refusing to let in even his own constituents. So they were forced to send him their messages by way of the mail slot.


Those visiting Rep. Cantor’s office were let in, but Mr. Cantor was out of the office so activists spoke with his staff. Young leaders told their family stories of separation and asked staff to pass on the importance of passing immigration reform to the congressman.



All of the activists then converged on the office of Speaker John Boehner. His office was locked as well, and the activists sat down in the hallway outside the Speaker’s door, holding hands and chanting until Capitol Police handcuffed them and took them away one by one.



The youngest arrestee was 12-year-old Esteban, who is here today with his mother fighting for his undocumented stepfather. Esteban and his four younger siblings have experienced the pain of deportation first-hand. About a year ago, Esteban’s father was deported, and Esteban says he does not want other kids to have to go through the same pain he went through.


Below, Esteban and some of the other young activists from today’s action tell their stories and talk about why they are here today.

Esteban, age 12:

Ashley, age 18

Hector, age 15

Brian, age 22

For more photos from today’s event, click here to follow us on Facebook.

Page 1 of 9112345...102030...Last »
Nike Free Run+ 3 Christmas Deals Nike Air Max Thea Print Christmas Deals Nike Free Viritous Christmas Deals Nike Air Max Thea Christmas Deals Nike Air Jordan 8 Christmas Deals