FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.”