Yesterday, as part of the ongoing “DAPA Dinners” campaign, Senator Harry Reid met with immigrant families who would be eligible for deportation relief under the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which is currently blocked due to a partisan, GOP-led lawsuit.
Today I heard from undocumented families who should be enjoying peace of mind but instead continue to live in fear pic.twitter.com/kDEnv2TwK0
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) January 8, 2016
“Today I heard from families who should be enjoying peace of mind but instead continue to live in constant fear of being separated because of an unfair, politically motivated lawsuit,” said Senator Reid of the meeting, which was coordinated by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (the parents pictured are among the group’s leaders).
“President Obama only took executive action on immigration after an extensive analysis by the Department of Justice determined that he was well within his constitutional authority. I am confident that if the Supreme Court decides to take up this case, it will overturn the previous rulings by lower courts, and these programs will take effect.”
According to a press release from Senator Reid’s office, “the families thanked Senator Reid for his tireless efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform and keep immigrant families together, including supporting the President’s deferred action programs and defending against repeated Republican attacks.”
“This meeting was part of Democrats’ efforts to hear directly from the families affected by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to uphold the suspension of the immigration executive actions,” the release continued.
Senator Reid also commented on the recent ICE raids targeting Central American families, saying, “These parents and children should not be rounded up in the middle of the night, still in their pajamas, and sent back to some of the most dangerous places in the world.”
“We need to ensure that they do not enter deportation proceedings before having the opportunity to go before a judge and tell their story.”
Senator Reid’s meeting with DAPA families is part of an ongoing campaign, “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, that has invited Congressional lawmakers and every Presidential candidate—both Republican and Democratic—to sit down with DAPA-eligible families.
Other Congressional lawmakers who have met with DAPA families over the past few weeks include 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’re still looking for DAPA-eligible families interested in hosting a DAPA Dinner, an opportunity to share their stories and a meal with Presidential candidates, elected officials, or community leaders. This effort will allow families demonstrate that DAPA-eligible immigrants are just like any other American family.