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Rep. Don Beyer Meets With The Pinto Family Of Virginia For “DAPA Dinner”

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Yesterday, the Pinto family of Virginia met with Rep. Don Beyer for a “DAPA Dinner,” a campaign to highlight how DAPA and expanded DACA would benefit immigrant families all across the nation.

The dinner, organized by the Virginia Immigrant Coalition for Immigrant Rights, gave the family a chance to show how the President’s actions on immigration — scheduled to go before the Supreme Court in just a matter of weeks — would help them thrive in the United States.

“We hope that through this dinner and this conversation, my family and I can really share with him the importance that it is for the Supreme Court to remove the hold from DAPA and DACA expansion, especially because my parents will be benefitting from this executive action,” said Ambar, the family’s daughter and a DREAMer.

Some 91,000 immigrant families would be eligible for DAPA and expanded DACA in Virginia, and that number skyrockets to five million across the nation.

If the Supreme Court would let President Obama’s actions go forward — a decision is expected some time in late June when it comes to the lawsuit — it would give undocumented immigrants the chance to legally work, and live without the daily fear of deportation.

“We live every day in fear, when we leave the house, we don’t know if we’ll ever come back,” the family’s father told Rep. Beyer. “We do everything like citizens — we pay taxes, we follow the law. But we dont have the rights.”

Una cena con un congresista podria ser la salvacion de muchos inmigrantes indocumentados de Virginia que calfican para la Orden Ejecutiva del DAPA Y DACA

Posted by Violeta Bastardo on Monday, April 4, 2016

Rep. Beyer expressed his support for both immigration reform and protecting DAPA and expanded DACA, saying that “America should welcome and support families like this. Congress should be helping to encourage and protect them.”

While the dinner helped highlight the important contributions immigrants make to America — Ambar is 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 — it also highlighted the effect the toxic rhetoric from Republicans this election season has had on families.

At one point, Christian, one of the family’s sons and a US citizen, asked “But Trump said all immigrants would have to return to where they were born, so would Mom have to go alone to Mexico?”

The family hopes more elected officials, political candidates, and members of Congress take advantage of the unique opportunity a “DAPA Dinner” could provide. “Having Representatives have that connection really helps them know the issue” of DAPA and expanded DACA, said Ambar.