DREAMers from FIRM Groups Share Their Stories of How DACA Has Helped Them with President Obama While Republicans in Congress Continue Political Games to Threaten Funding for Executive Action That Would Help Millions
WASHINGTON—President Obama invited six DREAMers to the White House to meet with him in the Oval Office today to share their stories with him firsthand of how they have benefited from executive action on immigration. Blanca Gamez and Bat-amgalan Tsogtsaikhan, members of two Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) organizations were among the invited DREAMers.
Blanca Gamez works at ProgressNow and is a founding member of DREAM Big Vegas, a community based organization that was founded in 2010 by DREAMers like Blanca and Astrid Silva, the young undocumented immigrant that President Obama mentioned during his announcement of his immigration action in November. Also a member of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), Blanca, who comes from a mixed-status family, is a long-time leader in the immigration movement. She worked for Hermandad Mexicana and Mi Familia Vota, has two degrees from University of Nevada Las Vegas in political science and English literature, and plans to attend law school at American University. Blanca helped found DREAM Big Vegas to advocate for the passage of the DREAM Act and educate students and parents around navigating the education system in Nevada while undocumented.
Bat-amgalan Tsogtsaikhan (Bati), from Mongolia, moved to the United States with his parents at the age of 10. He graduated from Yorktown High School in 2011 and then received his associate’s degree in business administration from Northern Virginia Community College in 2013. Bati is a DACA recipient who is interning at the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) focusing on in-state tuition in Virginia and assistance with DACA renewals. Currently, he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance at George Mason University. He works part-time as a mover at Two Men and a Truck on weekends. The newly announced Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program would mean that his whole family could stay together and live in the United States legally.
Kica Matos, spokesperson for FIRM, stated, “This meeting reflects the President’s understanding of the human impact of his executive actions and his desire to ensure the policy changes result in real changes for immigrant families. In contrast, Republicans continue their ridiculous political games to undermine the executive actions that would help millions of families. It is heartening to see the President prioritize our families and not falter in the face of the GOP’s irresponsible maneuvering.”