For a recording of today’s call, click here.
San Antonio, TX – On a press call today, Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro joined local DACA recipients Oscar Hernandez and Damaris Gonzalez, and Mario Carrillo, Director of America’s Voice Texas, to discuss why a legislative solution for Dreamers is so urgent for Texas and America, and call on Senator John Cornyn and Rep. Will Hurd (TX-23) to pass a clean Dream Act. Damaris Gonzalez’s DACA has expired, and Oscar Hernandez served in relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. Both Dreamers are affiliated with United We Dream.
For a recording of today’s call, click here.
In Texas, there are over 120,000 DACA recipients whose futures and opportunities to fully contribute to their communities are threatened by President Trump’s decision to end the popular and successful DACA program.
This call comes as tens of thousands of Dreamers will lose DACA because of an arbitrary deadline created by the Trump administration for 154,000 Dreamers to renew their status. If Congress can’t pass the Dream Act then it must be included in the bill that funds the government in December.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, said:
Damaris’ story and the stories of so many others are powerful examples of Dreamers’ resilience, intelligence, and commitment. According to recent analysis, 91% of Dreamers are in school, working a job, or are enlisted in our military. That means Dreamers are exactly the type of bright and hardworking young Americans we need to win the future, especially in Texas. There is a clear answer here. It’s time for Congress to pass a clean Dream Act. Senator John Cornyn and Representative Will Hurd must step up and show real leadership on the issue. The lives of Texas Dreamers and the Texas economy are on the line. We will be a stronger and more prosperous nation when we pass a pathway to citizenship for our Dreamers. It’s time for Republicans in Congress, particularly Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Hurd, to get the Dream Act done.
Damaris Gonzalez, DACA Recipient, said:
Without DACA and until a Dream Act is passed, on a daily basis, I put me and my family at risk of separation simply by working and providing for my mom, my dad, my sisters and myself. No daughter should have to live with the constant uncertainty of whether going to work or to the store or to church is worth the risk of being permanently separated from her mom and dad. This week, immigrant youth across Texas have mobilized to the district offices of Congressmen Culberson in the district where I live in Houston, to the offices of Pete Sessions in Dallas, and as we speak, to the offices of Will Hurd in El Paso and San Antonio. I am here to tell Congress that we cannot wait. Congress must pass a clean Dream Act by December – one without more funding for agents who would terrorize our Texas border communities, without funding for more immigrant detention camps, and one without add-ons for Trump’s sickening wall.
Oscar Hernandez, DACA Recipient, said:
At the end of August, before Trump made the decision to kill the DACA program for the over 800,000 immigrant youth across the country, or the 124,000 young people in Texas who migrated here as children, Houston was hit with the largest flooding event in U.S. history, putting one third of the city under water, some places getting over 50 inches of water. On September 5, my community was hit with another terrible storm. Trump killed DACA and imposed an arbitrary deadline for our families, many of whom had no job to return to after the storm, who were without income for paying mortgages and rent, some with catastrophic damages to their homes, outside of floodplains and without flood insurance, not eligible for FEMA. Families were then expected to find legal assistance, pull together their past documentation, use an address that may or may not continue to receive mail, and come up with $495 in four short weeks. We will continue to remind Congress and those who work against the immigrant community that our movement has a history of victory. We won DACA, in Houston we defeated 287g. We do not back down, we do not let up, and we are just beginning. Members of Congress should expect to continue to see us in their districts and in DC until we see the justice that we seek. My name is Oscar Hernandez, I am undocumented and unafraid; Houston, Texas is my home, and I am here to stay.