Following the success of the DREAMer conference in Kansas City this weekend—the biggest gathering of DREAMers to date—United We DREAM unveiled their new platform for change this morning, their statement of principles describing the type of immigration reform they have vowed to pursue next year.
“We’re building a movement for change,” said Cristina Jimenez, Managing Director of United We DREAM, during the press call today. “And we are very excited for our next fight.”
The DREAMer conference this weekend brought together 600 attendees from 47 affiliates from across the country to celebrate the immigration movement’s historic wins this year, and strategize for the future. After a year in which DREAMers persuaded President Obama to announce a deferred action (DACA) program to protect young immigrants, then went on to mobilize historic percentages of Latino voters to turn out for last month’s election, the political class is now quick to recognize their accomplishments and acknowledge that there is a need for citizenship-based immigration reform. In that vein, United We DREAM this morning announced a new platform that demands protections for families, access to higher education, and a roadmap to citizenship. The platform reads as follows:
- Fair treatment for DREAMers and our families and communities, including a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million Americans without papers and an end to senseless deportations and abuses
- The ability to travel without fear, ensuring all immigrants have access to driver licenses and the ability to visit family in other countries
- The elimination of barriers to higher education for immigrant youth by extending state and federal financial aid opportunities, as well as in-state tuition rates to DREAMers available to our peers
- An end to excessive and costly immigration enforcement policies which separate families and divide communities, such as “Secure Communities,” E-Verify, 287G, and roadside checkpoints
- Access to health care and safe, fair working conditions and equal protection under the law for all
- Growth and diversity of our movement for change, intensifying efforts to become more inclusive of non-Latinos, LGBTQ communities, differently-abled people, people of faith, and other groups
As Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy and Policy at United We DREAM said on the call today:
United We Dream is ready to redefine political realities and push for a bold vision for the future. When no one thought it possible, DREAMers forced the DREAM Act onto the political agenda and nearly won. And when no one thought it possible, DREAMers successfully drove the President of the United States to stop deporting us and offer us work permits….the mandate for immigration reform has never been more clear. Our political leaders can and should take this moment to define a new course.