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PHOTOS: Advocates Ramp Up Grassroots Pressure to Press Republicans to Pass a Clean Dream Act by the End of the Year

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Across the country, immigrant youth and their allies mobilize locally to pressure Republican members of Congress with petitions, rallies, visits, and calls

In recent weeks, immigrant youth, local leaders and local advocates doubled down on their call for a clean Dream Act with over 55 in-district rallies, petition deliveries, and protests in 21 different states and Washington, DC.  In addition, they generated tens of thousands of calls into the offices of Members of Congress and Senate.

Last week’s actions during congressional recess, as well as ongoing efforts this week, focused on key congressional targets.  They echo America’s call to pass the Dream Act and allow young people to continue to contribute to and thrive in in the country that is their home.

See below for a list of recent pro-Dream Act actions across the US. For more photos and coverage, see here.

Washington, D.C.

Nearly 100 medical students and health professions students from across the country gathered at the Capitol to demand that Congress pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017, without amendments that increase immigration enforcement.

Nearly 150 Dreamers from more than 25 states across the country flew to Washington, DC, to meet with Members of Congress to share their stories and to highlight the need for urgent passage of the Dream Act. Over the span of two days, Dreamers participated in more than 100 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff. They also joined a press conference withSenators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to highlight the October 5th deadline for eligible Dreamers to renew DACA and the urgent need for the passage of the Dream Act.

The National Education Association, along with the American Federation of Teachers, hosted  DACAmented educators, Dreamers, lawmakers, and allies as part of its National Week of Action to highlight the impact of the White House’s decision to rescind DACA and to call on Congress to pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-05) and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), lead sponsor of the Dream Act of 2017, will join DACAmented educators and students Hugo Arreola, Lee-Ann Graham, and Vicente Rodriguez.


MoveOn organized a petition delivery in support of a clean Dream Act at Congressman Don Young’s (R-AK) Anchorage office. See local news coverage here.


United We Dream’s affiliate Scholarships AZ led a rally during recess to demand that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) co-sponsor the Dream Act and commit to pass it by December. MoveOn worked with the Women’s Caucus of the Democrats of Rim Country to organize a DACA demonstration in Payson asking Senator McCain to support a clean Dream Act. Watch more here.


In California, activists organized 13 in-district activities directed at eight Republican Members of Congress: Nunes (CA-22), Knight (CA-25), Royce (CA-39), Walters (CA-45), Rohrabacher (CA-48), Denham (CA-10), McCarthy (CA-23) and Valadao (CA-21). Organizations – including NextGen America, MoveOn, the ACLU and others – organized petition deliveries of some 20,000 signatures to highlight the support for a clean Dream Act and to ask Members of Congress to stop delaying a vote. SEIU, in partnership with Mi Familia Vota, organized two petition drop-offs in the districts of Reps Denham and Nunes, and had in-district meetings in four additional districts. CREDO organized a petition drop off at Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (CA-12) San Francisco Office in collaboration with California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance and others.

CHIRLA and United Farm Worker’s delivered 26,000 postcards to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (CA-23) office urging a clean Dream Act.

The Korean Resource Center, a NAKASEC affiliate that coordinates a Dream Act table at the University of California Irvine in Orange County, organized community members to sign postcards and make phone calls to Congresswoman Mimi Walters to encourage her to support the Dream Act.


As part of Denver Startup Week, FWD.us hosted a panel and fireside chat with immigrant entrepreneurs to discuss the need for a bipartisan Dream Act and the contributions of immigrants to Denver and the startup community. Equilli founder Elaine Marino interviewed former DACA-recipient and DREAMERS Roadmap founder Sarahi Espinoza about her journey and her company; this was followed by a panel conversation from local immigrant startup founders and a call on participants to contact Colorado Members of Congress to pass the Dream Act.

On October 11th, FWD.us held a community roundtable with nonprofits, industry, and community stakeholders with partner host Aspen Ski Company. Staff from Colorado Congressional offices, including Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senator Michael Bennet (R-CO), and Representative Scott Tipton (CO-03), attended. Also in attendance were representatives from industries such as hotels and lodging, ski, education, and a few nonprofits. It was a robust conversation discussing DACA and the urgency of the Dream Act, as well as J-1 hiring needs and border security.

SEIU, in collaboration with Mi Familia Vota, organized petition drop offs to show support for immigrant youth and demand Senator Gardner and Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) to vote for a clean Dream Act. With choruses of “Undocumented and Unafraid!” and “Here to Stay!” members of United We Dream and allies marched to Representative Doug Lamborn’s (CO-05) Colorado Springs district office to urge him to pass a clean Dream Act before the end of the year.


FIRM and members of United We Dream organized a series of visits to Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) Doral office to share stories and demand the Senator vote for a clean Dream Act by December. United We Dream took over Sen. Rubio’s office in Florida to demand a clean Dream Act and support immigrant youth in his state. Video of the action can be found here.

Similarly, Organizing for Action targeted Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), who in the past has supported Dreamers and admonished this administration’s s announcement to end DACA.


MoveOn organized a petition delivery in support of a clean Dream Act at Congressman Barry Loudermilk’s (GA-11) office.


SEIU Local 1 and allies organized an in-district office with Congressman Randy Hultgren’s (IL-14) staff on Wednesday, October 18th asking him to support a clean Dream Act.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, FWD.us joined a roundtable and press conference with Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11), the office of City of Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin, Veronica Gloria of the Spanish Community Center, and local Dreamers to discuss the important contributions that Dreamers have made to our community and our country.


MoveOn organized a petition delivery in support of a clean Dream Act at Congressman Kevin Yoder’s (KS-20) office. Six volunteers went inside to speak with Rep. Yoder’s staff about their stories and why passing a clean Dream Act is needed now.


On Wednesday, Sept. 27, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce joined the Maine Coalition of FWD.us, a bipartisan advocacy organization started by leaders in tech and business to fight for commonsense immigration reform, for a press conference to highlight the urgent threat to Dreamers.


In Representatives Mike Bishop’s (MI-08) and Tim Walberg’s (MI-07) districts, MoveOn.org organized petition deliveries to show support for immigrant youth from Michiganders demanding their representatives pass a clean Dream Act.


FIRM turned out a delegation to attend Congressman Don Bacon’s (NE-02) townhall to directly ask him to support and vote for a clean Dream Act. In addition. MoveOn.org organized a petition delivery in support of a clean Dream Act at Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s (NE-01) Lincoln office.

New Jersey

Make the Road New Jersey had actions in Representatives Leonard Lance’s (NJ-07), Frank LoBiondo’s (NJ-02), Chris Smith’s (NJ-04), and Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (NJ-11) offices demanding a clean Dream Act for the thousands of immigrant youth in New Jersey.

New Mexico

In Representative Pearce’s (NM-02) district, United We Dream organized more than thirty courageous immigrant leaders from the NM Dream Team to meet with the representative to demand he pass a clean Dream Act by December of this year. The scheduled in-person meeting with the members of the NM Dream Team was met with an absence from the Congressman. Following their visit to Pearce’s office, the NM Dream Team held a press conference denouncing his absence and unwillingness to meet with immigrant youth who are part of his district; and highlighting the importance of their commitment to push Congress to enact a clean Dream Act by December.

New York

In New York, Make the Road New York (MRNY) launched canvasses to continue highlighting the need for a clean Dream Act and to encourage Representative Dan Donovan (NY-11) andRepresentative Peter King (NY-02) to push for a clean Dream Act. MRNY also planned a banner drop at the Staten Island Ferry supporting the need to protect the immigrant youth in the state of New York and marched twelve miles to Rep. King’s office.

On Friday, Oct. 20, FWD.us joined a panel at NYU Entrepreneurial Institute where forward-thinking companies, research labs, and experts discussed industry research in an open forum. The discussion was aimed to identify opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship for future founders.

Immigrant youth and people of conscience from Workers’ Center of Central NY, Solidarity Central NY, Yonkers Sanctuary Movement, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, and United We Dream held a press conference outside of Representative John Katko’s (NY-24) Syracuse office and delivered a petition with 550 signatures from his district, echoing the need for a clean Dream Act by December.

Finally, FIRM in collaboration with Voces de la Frontera, the New York Immigrant Coalition, and Make the Road New York generated a petition demanding that Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-01)support and pass a clean Dream Act. The petition was delivered by a delegation of more than 80 individuals from New York and  a delegation of Wisconsin Dreamers, Make the Road New York and the New York Immigrant Coalition during the Al Smith Charitable Dinner in New York where Speaker Ryan spoke. Find more information here.

North Carolina

MoveOn delivered petitions in support of a clean Dream Act at Congressman Patrick McHenry’s (NC-10) office.


In Ohio, MoveOn delivered petitions in support of immigrant youth and demanding a clean Dream Act at Congressman David Joyce’s (OH-14) office and at Congressman Bob Latta’s (OH-05) office. Watch the local news coverage here.


MoveOn organized a vigil and petition delivery at Congressman Lloyd Smucker’s (PA-16) downtown Lancaster office and another petition delivery at Congressman Patrick Meehan’s (PA-07) Springfield office asking both representatives to support a clean Dream Act. Read about the event in the Delco Times here.


FIRM alongside immigrant youth organized a silent march in Cumberland Park urging Congress to pass a clean Dream Act. Video of the march can be found here.


Immigrant youth leaders and allies with United We Dream, Indivisible Richardson, and MoveOn took to the streets outside the office of US Representative Pete Sessions (TX-32) to share their stories, commitment, and demands for a clean Dream Act by December of this year.

El Paso immigrant youth and allies from Soñando Juntos, American Federation of Teachers, and Indivisible rallied outside the Socorro office of US Representative Will Hurd (TX-23) in response to weeks of inaction to protect the thousands of immigrant youth in Texas’ 23rd district. Simultaneously, outside of Rep. Hud’s San Antonio office, United We Dream members held a press conference with a giant painting depicting two halves of the Congressman: one half signing the clean Dream Act, the other dressed as a deportation agent.

FWD.us partnered with the University of Texas at Austin’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) to host their quarterly “Front Porch” discussion which initiates and stewards successful community-university partnerships that connect the resources of the university with individuals, groups, and institutions.

FWD.us also hosted leaders from the Austin tech community to discuss the recent state of affairs regarding the cancellation of the DACA program and the implications this has on the local tech and startup community, as well as nationwide.

MoveOn organized a petition delivery in Representative John Ratcliffe’s (TX-04) district to demand a clean Dream Act. Read more about the event hereherehere, and here.

SEIU hosted an in-district meeting with Representative John Culberson (TX-07) urging him to vote for a solution for the hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth depending on the Dream Act.

Immigrant leaders with United We Dream Houston and clergy from TX-7 met with Representative Culberson to demand a clean Dream Act by December of this year. You can find a recap video of their meeting here. 


In Representative Barbara Comstock’s (VA-10) district, MoveOn had a petition delivery and an in-district meeting with the Representative organized by SEIU to urge her to vote on a clean Dream Act by December. NAKASEC, Mason Dreamers, SURJ-NoVA, Indivisible, Wellspring United Church of Christ, and CASA united to urge Representative Barbara Comstock to co-sponsor a Dream Act without immigration enforcement provisions.

MoveOn had a second petition delivery in support of a clean Dream Act at Congressman Morgan Griffith’s (VA-09) office.

Washington State

United We Dream and One America along with DACA recipients met with Representative Dave Reichert (WA-08) to urge him pass a clean Dream Act before the end of the year. Video recapping meeting is here.

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