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As the Supreme Court is just weeks away from hearing oral arguments in the United States v. Texas immigration case, an immigrant family in Virginia is ready to show just how personal the stakes are right now.
On Monday, the Pinto family will break bread with Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) as part of the ongoing “DAPA Dinners” campaign, and will discuss with him how DAPA and expanded DACA — currently on hold due to the partisan lawsuit from the Republican Governors and Attorneys General from 26 states — would change their lives.
Both parents from the Pinto family are DAPA-eligible. They have two children: a United States citizen, and a DREAMer.
The DREAMer, Ambar, has been incredibly active in her community, attending the President’s 2013 State of the Union address as a guest of Senator Mark Warner after he read about her activism. Ambar serves on the board of directors of a non-profit “which empowers Latino children, youth and families through education and leadership development,” and is a student at Northern Virginia Community College.
The family hopes this “DAPA Dinner” — organized by the Virginia Immigrant Coalition for Immigrant Rights — hightlights how DAPA and DACA+ would change their lives. Some 91,000 immigrants in Virginia would be eligible for the President’s actions, which would shield immigrants from deportation and give them the opportunity to legally work. Nationwide, that number tops out at five million.
“DAPA Dinners,” a joint effort between America’s Voice, United We Dream Action and Center for Community Change Action/Fair Immigration Reform Movement, as well as state and local groups across the nation, has invited Congressional lawmakers and every Presidential candidate—both Republican and Democratic—to sit down with DAPA-eligible families like the Pinto family.
Other Congressional lawmakers who have met with DAPA families over the past few months include Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Richard Durbin, Rep. Bill Foster, Rep. Ruben Gallego, as well as 2016 Presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley. So far, no Republican candidates for President have agreed to meet with immigrant families.
We’ll be sharing the images from Monday’s “DAPA Dinner” here. Click here if you are interested in hosting your own “DAPA Dinner” event.