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New “Dreamer Dinners” Campaign Kicks Off in FL, OH, and TX

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With Successful Dreamer Program Under Threat, Effort Aimed at Trump and Sessions to Do the Right Thing and Protect Legal Status for Aspiring Young Americans

This summer, as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the popular and successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, America’s Voice and other advocates around the country are holding a series of Dreamer Dinners – meals with elected officials, members of the media, and others in order to drive support for DACA and for Dreamers. DACA, which has brought 800,000 young immigrants new opportunities and protections, is under imminent threat. Dreamers and advocates, through these Dreamer Dinners, are asking Republicans and Democrats alike to stand up for DACA and Dreamers and to hear firsthand testimonials about why DACA benefits America.

Below is a recap of several recent and upcoming Dreamer Dinners. Click to learn more about Dreamer Dinners.

Columbus, OH: On Thursday August 10, the very first Dreamer Dinner was held in Columbus, OhioCity Councilwoman Liz Brown joined twenty others for the meal, including eight who are DACA-mented Dreamers. Some of the Dreamers were high school students, while others were in grad school. One Dreamer works at major insurance company, another is an engineer in the auto industry, and another works at in finance at a national bank. All shared their stories of what it means to be a Dreamer, what DACA has meant to them, and why deferred action must be saved. Click here for images and for more details about the Columbus Dreamer Dinner. 

Miami, FL: Last night on August 14, FL State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez joined two local Dreamers, Monica Lazaro and Dante Figueroa, at a Dreamer Dinner in Miami. Lazaro is a graduate from Florida International University, with a degree in Biology who works as a Research Associate at the Nova College of Osteopathic Medicine. Figueroa is a DACA recipient currently pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering. According to Senator Rodriguez, “Yesterday, I had the opportunity to listen to the stories of three young and hopeful DREAMERS in my district. Their stories reflect everything they have accomplished, but also show the fear of losing what they have. DREAMERS are an essential part of our community, they are our neighbors, our friends, our family. They work hard, study every day and serve our country because they call this country their home. This keeps reaffirming me that we need to protect them. Today in the 5th Anniversary of DACA, I feel more encouraged to keep the fight for them and defend the future of every DREAMER in our country.” More photos and information about our Miami Dreamer Dinner are available here. 

San Antonio, TX: Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) will break bread with seven local Dreamers at a San Antonio restaurant on Tuesday, August 15. Rep. Castro will be joined by Carla Martinez, a recent graduate of University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) with a Civil Engineering degree; Sandra Asseneth, a Senior at UTSA, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting; Carlos Aguilar, a DACA beneficiary, graduate student, and aspiring stand-up comedian who will be pursuing his PhD in education at Harvard; María Mayela Rocha, a DACA recipient who has lived in San Antonio since age 3 and gives back as a bilingual teacher; Narda Martinez, a current senior at UTSA and will be receiving a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies this December and will begin teaching after finishing her undergraduate degree; Karina Alvarez, a first generation college student, graduated in 2012 from TAMIU in Laredo, TX. She is a DACA recipient who has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant and is presently a Bilingual Educator who is pursuing her master’s degree at UTSA; and Seven Flores, a DACA recipient who has he has fought for environmental justice, immigration  and educational reform. He has done this by being president of an environmental organization at TAMIU, being active in both politics and my community, and soon will be fighting for education equity as a Massachusetts Teach for America Corp member.