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Undocumented Parents Arrested for Civil Disobedience Outside Speaker Boehner’s Office

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arrestsThe following is a press statement from United We DREAM:

Dreamers’ Moms Join with United We Dream to Escalate Action Pressuring Obama and Congress 

This morning, dozens of undocumented parents, part of the nationwide network of “Dreamers’ Moms,” protested outside the office of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) with four being arrested for civil disobedience.  The mothers were in Washington, D.C. to challenge Speaker Boehner for his lack of leadership on immigration reform and to remind him and his colleagues in Congress of the staggering moral cost of inaction, as 1,100 families are divided every day by deportations.  They’re also calling on President Obama to halt deportations that are tearing families apart.

Over 50 leaders with “Dreamers’ Moms,” from Texas, California, Arizona, Tennessee, Connecticut, Florida, and Virginia, are working in partnership with United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth network in the country, to push for an end to deportations and real immigration reform that keeps families together and creates a path to citizenship with permanent protections for undocumented immigrants.   Photos are available here and UWD is tweeting at #united4families.

“We’re at a new phase in the fight for immigration reform, with DREAMers and parents escalating our action to keep the heat on President Obama to stop deportations and Speaker Boehner to step up and deliver real immigration reform for our families this year,” said Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy and Policy at United We Dream.

The four women arrested include Estella Hernandez from Los Angeles, California, Lizbeth Polo from Connecticut, Beatriz Jaspeado from Los Angeles, California, and Andrea Gabriela Genova from Florida, who was also arrested for civil disobedience last week with a group of over 100 women calling for immigration reform.

“Our message to Speaker Boehner is that he needs to pass immigration reform now.  Every day he delays, 1,100 people are separated from their families,” said Lenka Mendoza, a leader with Dreamer Moms of Virginia.  “We’re tired of Speaker Boehner’s inaction.  The power to bring this to a vote rests in his hands; we have the votes, we have Republicans who have come out in support of citizenship and it all depends on him.”

Today’s action kicked off a weekend training convened by United We Dream for “Dreamers’ Moms,” as undocumented parents step up to stand alongside their children in the fight for justice for the immigrant community.  Tonight in Arlington, Virginia, one hundred Dreamer Moms, DREAMers, and members of the community will gather for a prayer vigil for immigration reform, praying that Speaker Boehner and other elected officials will show leadership and deliver immigration reform that affirms our values of family, opportunity, and equality.

Immigrant youth transformed the immigration debate by coming forward and sharing their stories, winning the support of the American people. DREAMers’ courageous advocacy and activism led to an unprecedented victory in 2012, when President Obama announced the deferred action policy for immigrant youth.  Now, parents of DREAMers are organizing in their own right and escalating alongside their children to push Congress to finally pass legislation that honors the dignity and hard work of all immigrants and ends the moral crisis of out-of-control enforcement.

DREAMers and their parents won’t let up pressure on Congress or President Obama and will continue to escalate in the coming weeks and months.

“I’m asking President Obama to remember the promise that he made us. He needs to think about the families that he continues to separate,” said Ingrid Vaca with Dreamer Moms of Virginia. “There are many children who are so far away from their parents and he should stop deportations that continue hurting our community.”

View some of the photos today, below: