tags: , , , Press Releases

Crises for Dreamers in PA and NY Prove Action on Dream Act Desperately Needed Now

Share This:

There is no crisis…There’s no emergency. The president has given us to March to address it,” according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). His co-conspirator Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) echoed the falsity: ““The deadline is March, as far as I understand it.”

Clearly, McConnell and Ryan are no experts on DACA. For that, let’s go to DACA beneficiaries themselves – young people like Osman Enriquez and Brittany Aguilera.

Osman followed the rules to renew his DACA, but lost his status due to delays at the post office that were completely out of his control. Now, the father of a one-year old United States citizen sits in immigration jail, separated from his family for the fourth day in a row.  Advocates are pushing to get Osman released and back to his family before his son’s one-year birthday this weekend.

As Dara Lind of Vox reported yesterday:

…what happened to Enriquez is the inevitable outcome of the way the Trump administration wound down DACA. It gave immigrants an unusually short amount of time to apply for renewal, then enforced stricter-than-usual rules about what counted as a timely application. Their current plan to allow some immigrants affected by mail delays to reapply still puts many immigrants at risk of a gap between one work permit expiring and a new one being issued. And during that time, working, driving, and existing in the US put DACA-eligible immigrants at just as much risk of deportation as any other unauthorized immigrant.”

Similarly, Brittany Aguilera’s DACA renewal application was rejected after a missing signature caused her application to be returned.  She did not have time to fix it because of that same, arbitrary October 5th deadline.

Jonathan Blitzer of the New Yorker interviewed Aguilera:

It said they were no longer accepting applications after October 5th. But that makes no sense. My application wasn’t a new application…The situation, when you deal with it for so long, it turns you into a person who doesn’t have the ability to stress the way a normal person stresses; you don’t have the ability to show the regular emotions a normal person would show. All you know is how you feel in the moment. All I can do is exhaust all possible options. I’m focused on taking the next step, to survive…“I don’t want to become a different person because of this situation. I don’t just want to be another ‘Dreamer’ who Trump screwed over, or who a clerical error screwed over. I have a nephew. I need to be able to smile back at him when he smiles at me.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

As Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan continue to propagate a false narrative of a March deadline, Dreamers are having their lives upended by an unfolding crisis of the Trump Administration’s making. The deadline is not March. It was months ago. Just ask Osman and Brittany.