A Defining Moment for America
Washington, DC – Yesterday, on the five year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program going into effect, Dreamers and their allies stood up in communities around the country to celebrate the successes of the program and to share reminders of how the nearly 800,000 DACA recipients contribute so much to the country that is their home. Local media around the country highlighted pro-DACA and Dreamer rallies and events in a range of communities, including in places such asLittle Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; Sacramento, CA; Kansas City, MO; New York City; and Las Vegas, NV.
United We Dream leads the way
- Many of these events were led by United We Dream (UWD), who made sure the stories of DACA recipients were front and center. For a full round-up of UWD actions yesterday,check out this recap here. A range of Texas media, meanwhile, highlighted civil disobedience in Austin, TX directed at the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — the anti-immigrant ringleader of the effort to kill off DACA and subject Dreamers to deportation.
- In Florida’s Tampa Bay Times, reporter Alex Leary interviewed Juan Escalante of America’s Voice: “‘I knew right away this was going to change my life and the life of my brothers,’ Escalate told the Tampa Bay Times. He graduated from Florida State in 2011 and received a master’s in public administration in 2015 … ‘I consider myself American in all ways except one, a piece of paper,’ Escalante said.”
Elected officials are standing up for Dreamers
- Many members of Congress weighed in yesterday with expressions of support. Longtime immigrant rights championRep. Luis Gutierrez similarly was one of nearly 30 U.S. citizens arrested outside the White House in solidarity with Dreamers and those with TPS.
- As The Hill highlights, a letter released yesterday by mayors and county officials via Cities for Action, a coalition of counties and cities representing more than 55 million residents, calls on President Trump to protect Dreamers. And in Nashville, TN, The Tennessean highlights how Nashville Mayor Megan Barry is urging President Trump to continue DACA.
Dreamer Dinners underway
- The Dreamer Dinners campaign continues to grow. Such gatherings are a tangible way for lawmakers and community leaders to sit with and stand for Dreamers. The first two took place in Columbus, OH and Miami, FL.
- In San Antonio, TX last night, Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) joined immigrant youth from San Antonio and across Texas at a Dreamer Dinner to discuss DACA, the risks if the program is revoked, and the importance of protecting its recipients. According to Congressman Castro, “At last night’s dinner, I met a group of hardworking young people who are pursuing their academic and career dreams, all while living in fear that they may be forced to leave the country they call home. Their stories are inspiring, and their contributions to our society are valuable. We must defend DACA and protect Dreamers.”
- Last evening, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) and Councilman Gil Cedillo hosted seven DACA beneficiaries at a dinner to hear their stories and commit to fighting to protect Dreamers and their families.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “Dreamers are Americans. They grew up in this country, they’ve graduated from schools and gone to work in America. Their dreams are made in America. Now their futures are under threat from nativist nationalists inside and outside of the Trump Administration. Are we, as a nation, going to upend their lives and expose them to deportation? Is the GOP, as a party, going to stand by and let the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Texas AG Ken Paxton carry out the wishes of Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and their white nationalist allies? While there are many challenges facing the country at this perilous time, it is our belief that how America treats Dreamers is one of the upcoming moral tests for both President Trump and his Republican colleagues in Congress. The moment of truth near. As they say, it’s a time for choosing. In the name of all that makes America special, may they choose wisely.”
Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice Education Fund on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice
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