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Facing Judge Hanen, Dreamers Stand Strong

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Following yesterday’s hearing on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in a hearing held by notorious anti-immigrant zealot Texas Judge Andrew Hanen, Dreamers (and their loved ones) raised their voices to express themselves and be heard as others debated their futures.  

Ciriac Alvarez, a Dreamer and local organizer from Utah, captured the level of uncertainty that Dreamers are currently experiencing in a simple Tweet: Dreamers, she wrote, “deserve more than to just live between litigations and court dates.”

Karla Perez, a Dreamer from Houston, was in the courthouse. She tweeted: “Ready to #DefendDACA in Federal Court today with #TeamMALDEF. This case couldn’t be about DACA recipients without DACA recipients and I’m proud to be our lead defendant-intervenor.”

Indira Marquez Robles, 18, DACA recipient, leader with United We Dream (UWD), said: “I am a DACA recipient and I decided to go inside the courtroom to look Ken Paxton and Judge Hanen in the eyes and show that it is our lives that they are attacking. My community and I are here no matter what happens, and here to fight because we are here to stay. DACA has allowed me to get my drivers license and pay my way through school. The end of DACA could mean the end of my ability to support myself and my education. DACA was won by immigrant youth, we are resilient, and we will not back down” (hear the voices of other UWD leaders here).

Juan Escalante, Communications Manager for America’s Voice and DACA-recipient, “The Trump administration’s and Republican hardliners, like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Judge Hanen, may think that their politically-motivated lawsuit is weighing down on Dreamers – but that is simply not true. Dreamers are resilient and will overcome any attack or challenge that anti-immigrant politicians or judges throw at them.  Whether Judge Hanen chooses to rule on Monday or not, Dreamers will be ready to take action and continue to fight for full recognition from the country they call home: The United States of America.”

Mario Carrillo, a U.S. Citizen and America’s Voice staffer, explained how there is still no guarantee that his wife will be allowed to stay in the United States once DACA expires: “As DACA is debated (again) in court, I think of my wife. A DACA-recipient since 2012, she’s built a career, purchased a car, purchased a house with me. And still no guarantee that she’ll have DACA once it expires, and with this admin, no given that we can adjust her status. But she’s resilient AF, y’all. And through this uncertainty, we’ll make it out stronger. It’s been a stressful two years to be sure. but a huge huge huge s/o to all the friends and family who have been with us on this journey, and have lent their support through our process of getting @daleitzy the right to stay in the only country either of us know, really. But we’ll get there, y’all. and once we do, we’ll keep fighting to ensure that everyone else gets the freedom and dignity they deserve.”