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Standing Up for DACA: Support for Dreamers On Display Across America

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Supporters of the successful and popular DACA program, a policy that provides nearly 800,000 young immigrants the chance to go to college, work and fully contribute to the nation they call home, are gearing up to make this one of the defining fights against the Trump Administration’s war on immigrants.

With less than a month before the September 5th deadline set by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton demanding that President Trump kill off DACA, the fate of hundreds of thousands of young people who grew up in America and consider themselves Americans remains in question. The moment of truth is drawing near. Will Trump be outmaneuvered by Paxton and his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or will he decide to continue a program that has transformed the lives of so many?

Below are but three recent examples of activities in support of Dreamers:

Columbus, Ohio “Dreamer Dinner”: Last night, Columbus Councilwoman Elizabeth Brown joined immigrant families, Avanza Together, and Ohio’s Voice for the first “Dreamer Dinner,” a new America’s Voice campaign to bring together immigrant families and elected officials for a meal to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program positively impacts young people, families and communities. A growing number of such events are being planned following the success of this inaugural event. Photos from last night’s event are available here.

Colorado Dreamers, Rep. Polis, Denver Mayor Hancock, and CO Lt. Governor Lynne Join Forces in Support of DACA: Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joined Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne in support of the 17,000 immigrant Dreamers in Colorado who could face deportation if DACA is rescinded. At the event, organized by FWD.us, Mayor Hancock stated: “This DACA effort embodies everything this nation stands for. And we as conscientious individuals must ask ourselves the question: Why would anyone target these vulnerable, hardworking, dedicated people in our cities across this nation?”

Local DACA recipients also told their stories. Dreamer Marissa Molina said: “DACA changed my life. Thanks to DACA, I was able to receive a private student loan to continue my education and receive scholarships to finish college. In 2014, I became the first college graduate in my family…To whom much is given, much is required. That is why after graduation, I joined Teach for America and became a teacher at a Denver Public School to the most amazing high schoolers. These students served as a reminder of how important it is to continue to invest in our young people.” Yesterday’s event was also cited in a Denver Post editorial urging Trump and Congress to “extend DACA protections so these Dreamers don’t face the insecurity and uncertainty that plagues them now.” 

DACA Recipient Damaris Gonzalez Confronts Ken Paxton About His Efforts to End DACA: On Tuesday, DACA beneficiary Damaris Gonzalez courageously confronted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton at his fundraising event to question his attack on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This confrontation followed a rally on Sunday at Paxton’s Prestonwood church. A video of the confrontation can be found here.

Ms. Gonzalez, a DACA beneficiary and leader with United We Dream Houston, said:

With his threat, Paxton is attacking me, 800,000+ people and our families. I looked him right in the eye and told him that no human being is illegal, that this is the fight for our lives and we are not backing down.

He refused to take responsibility for the consequences of his actions. He couldn’t even acknowledge that the removal of DACA would hurt people like me and gave me empty excuses.

Honestly, it felt awesome to confront a man who has caused so much fear in so many people. I hope that everyone with DACA and all people who care about immigrants and the future of this country rise up and say enough is enough. This is our home and we are here to stay!