The case of Felipe Abonza-Lopez is just the latest outrageous reminder that the same Trump Administration that ended DACA is now actively targeting Dreamers who still have DACA. Said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice: “Unless Congress steps up and delivers a solution for Dreamers this year, examples like Felipe’s will only, unfortunately, multiply.”
Felipe, a 20-year old who has lived in Texas since age 5, has been unjustly held in a Texas detention facility for a month despite his active DACA status after a car he was riding in was stopped in Uvalde, TX.
Not only has Felipe been unjustly detained due to his current DACA status, but he has even been mocked by detention facility staff for having a prosthetic leg.
Felipe should be released immediately and Members of Congress should take his case as a clear example that the time for a Dreamer fix is long past. The deadline for action was a month ago. Every day Congress delays is another day that Dreamers like Felipe are at risk of deportation.
Texas Representative Will Hurd (R-TX-23), who represents the Uvalde, TX area where Felipe was detained, should step up to get Felipe out of jail and ensure that the Dream Act passes this year. Rep. Hurd recently said:
There are 800,000 young men and women who have only known America, and they should have legal status to stay here. I think this is something we can get done.
Yet instead of backing the bipartisan Dream Act, sponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in the Senate and Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in the House, Rep. Hurd is content to be part of aHouse Republican working group that seems to be a Working Group to Nowhere, having produced nothing actionable to date and consisting of a number of anti-immigrant hardliners working to scuttle a deal.
According to Mario Carrillo, Director of America’s Voice Texas:
Despite President Trump’s and Speaker Paul Ryan’s lies that Dreamers have nothing to worry about, DACA recipients such as Felipe and other young immigrants including 10-year old Rosa Maria Hernandez are under threat of detention and deportation right now. They are just two reminders for Will Hurd and other Members of Congress who talk the talk but haven’t yet walked the walk of the urgency of passing the Dream Act this year, not at some vague point in the future.
As the San Antonio Express-News editorialized in September after President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program, the announced end of program is a “cruel twist” for Dreamers. As the paper’s editorial concluded, “Our hope is that Congress surprises us on this. It must — led by Texas’ delegation.”
We agree. And our country demands leadership from Rep. Hurd and the rest of Congress. The fate of Felipe and too many other young immigrants in his situation depend on it.