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Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham Meets With New Mexico Immigrant Youth As Part of “Dreamer Dinners” Campaign

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– As hardline forces inside and outside the Administration, such as AG Jeff Sessions and Texas AG Ken Paxton, are trying to force President Trump to preside over the end of the popular and successful DACA program, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) this morning joined immigrant leaders from the NM Dream Team to break bread with New Mexico families and discuss DACA and the risks if the program is revoked.

As Rep. Lujan Grisham said:

I wish the President could sit in an Albuquerque living room and have a real discussion with DREAMers about what DACA means to them.

I did that this morning, and every time I talk with these young people and their families, I am reminded about how valuable they are to our community. They are not political pawns, despite the President’s hateful rhetoric and actions. Immigrant families aspire to be productive members of our communities and provide the same opportunities we all want for our children.

Jazmin Coronel, leader with the NM Dream Team, said:

Since the start of Trump’s administration, immigrants and people like our parents have been painted as criminals with the goal of dehumanizing and vilifying us.

We need the people who love and support us to be vocal and bold, to defy racist policies and practices that seek to put us behind bars, block us from our basic needs like work and driving, and tear apart our communities. We need bold action to protect and empower our immigrants and people of color.

Karla Molinar, leader with the NM Dream Team, said:

We want to be clear that the attack on DACA is an attack on 800,000 brown and Black people and our families, all across the country. When Trump and extremists Republicans decided to come after DACA, they decided to publicly expose their campaign to hunt down brown and Black youth who have embedded themselves in their cities, schools, workforce, and places of worship.

This is why we call upon elected officials, educators and clergy to create cities and spaces where we can all thrive — because the attacks on our community are not siloed, so the responses from our community can’t be either. I know that my community has my back, and that this is my home and I’m here to stay!

Yazmin Irazoqui-Ruiz, field organizer with the NM Dream Team, said:

Right now, Republicans have a choice. Will they continue to support white supremacists and racist policies that are destroying communities? Or will they come out to support 800,000 immigrant youth and fight to protect the youth, workers, and families like mine that have made this country our home?

Nearly 7,000 DACA recipients are in NM and are a part of the workforce and ending it massively will disrupt not only our lives but also those of our employers, our co workers, our patients, and our employees.

Gabriela Hernandez, Southwest Organizer with United We Dream & Executive Director for the NM Dream Team, said:

We will continue to organize and heal alongside our community and freedom warriors because the fight for our families is not over.

Together we will create a path forward, fighting for the dignity and full and equal rights of all people. We are immigrants, workers, Black and indigenous people, LGBTQ folks. We are here to stay and we will fight like hell to protect one another!

The DACA program is an unqualified success, providing new opportunities and futures for nearly 800,000 Dreamers who live, study, and work in America, including 15,000 who are DACA-eligible in New Mexico. Each DACA recipient has come forward, passed a background check and been granted permission to live and work legally in America. As a result, many have been able to fulfill their dreams of attending and completing college; most are working legally, paying taxes and providing for their families; and all are finding ways to contribute to the country they call home without fear of deportation.

The dinner is part of a nationwide “Dreamer Dinners” campaign. The initiative invites Senators, Congressman, and local elected officials to join an immigrant family for a meal to discuss how federal immigration actions impact children, families, and communities. Read more about Dreamer Dinners and find out how to host your own here.

View photos and tweets from this morning’s Dreamer Dinner below: