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DREAMers in Arizona, Florida, and Washington DC staged coordinated rallies today for their National Day of Action, designed to draw attention to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and his anti-immigrant positions on the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. Participating groups include Presente Action and United We Dream.
The events are part of the growing “No Somos Rubios” movement, a campaign in which pro-immigration reform advocates are asking Senator Rubio to shift his anti-immigrant policy positions and drop his Tea Party partisanship. A common sign post and refrain is “Marco Rubio—Latino or Tea Partino?”
In Washington, DREAMers rallied outside the Dirksen and Russell Senate Office Buildings, drawing a gaggle of press attention before heading into the Hart Senate Office Building to try and engage with Senator Rubio. Once inside, they were able to meet with Hampton C. Ray, a Rubio staffer, and present him with an open letter asking Rubio to reverse his positions on issues like the DREAM Act and Arizona’s SB 1070 anti-immigrant law.
“We are asking him to back up the community he came from, and move away from the Tea Party agenda,” said Felipe Matos, a DREAMer born in Brazil and educated in Florida.
The staffer directed Matos and the other DREAMers to a series of “constituent coffees” that Rubio is planning to hold in Florida at the end of this month, and noted that Rubio does support the ARMS Act in lieu of the DREAM Act. The ARMS Act would offer DREAMers willing to enlist in the military—but not DREAMers willing to enlist in college—a path to legalization, and the “compromise” has already been repudiated by many DREAM Act supporters and immigration reform advocates.