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Texas Immigrant Youth, Leaders, and Progressive Allies Urge Congress to Move on Dream Act

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A recording of today’s call is available here

Austin, TX – Dreamers and their advocates spoke on a call on the latest in the fight for the Dream Act and protections for vulnerable immigrants.

Julieta Garibay, Co-Founder and Texas Director of United We Dream, said:

We are utterly disappointed that the Democrats caved in to the racist agenda of trump.  Our question to them is: What are you gonna do to pass Dream Act? Tell us, immigrant youth who are losing their DACA as we speak, how you will keep your promise. To Republicans, utter shame on you!  Cornyn as the Dream Killer number one did not have the backbone or morality to stand against the white supremacist agenda.  We are joined today by courageous freedom warriors who fought with all their might for Dream and incredible allies.

Estephanie De La Cruz, 20-year old DACA-mented youth from New Braunfels and leader with United We Dream, said:

Every day, 122 people like us lose their protection from deportation, and since September nearly 17,000 DACA recipients have already lost their protection… everything is on the line for me and my DACA recipient brothers and sisters. I grew up in a town where people never come out of the shadows, so putting my body on the line, getting arrested, and meeting people like me from across the country who are fighting for the Dream Act was very empowering for me and my community. John Cornyn is one of the Senators from my state, and one of the #1 Dream Killers. The fact that he wouldn’t listen to us and kicked us out, shows that he is on the wrong side of history. His actions support a White Supremacist agenda.

We will not sit quiet. We’re going to stand up and let our voices be heard.

Ena Vega, 21-year-old DACA-mented youth from Laredo and leader with United We Dream, said:

I came to the US when I was 10 years old. I’ve been here over half of my life. Growing up felt like living a normal life until the moment I found out I was undocumented—that moment was life-changing. Throughout years of high school, I felt alone because always in the back of my mind I knew I was undocumented. That changed once I was able to apply for DACA. Now I know that my DACA expires forever in 2019, unless the Dream Act is passed—it’s like living with a timer on my life. Since Trump ended the program, I’ve become very concerned for my border community where a lot of people benefit from DACA. If there’s no Dream Act, me and many like me will lose jobs. I met with Rep. Cuellar and told us he would support us, but he decided to turn his back on the community he represents. He has voted against immigrant youth who are living with so much uncertainty and anxiety. We will not let our lives expire.

Matt Oliver, Organizer from Indivisible Austin, said:

I want to say to these folks that we are working to continue to fight with you until we get a clean dream act passed. I wanted to reinforce that protecting children and family of people who have come here for the American dream is an American value, not liberal. Any politician who would cynically deny folks this right is not worthy of holding office. Their agenda is a white supremacist agenda, and I will single out Senator Cornyn and Representative Roger Williams who are happy to have a photo op with several dreamers, but was on social media right after talking about “illegals.” Any democrat that thinks reopening the government was a good idea politically, you saw hundreds of thousands of people marching on Saturday, yet you decided to turn your back on those folks. There will be consequences for that. We are 100% committed to fighting until a clean dream act is passed.

Jackie Trevino, representative from the Sierra Club, said:

We are doing work in order to resist aggressive policing. We have been putting pressure on Cornyn and making the public aware that he is a ‘Dream-killer’. Sierra Club is about protecting our ecology and that is more than just the land that we stand on, it is our ecological heritage and culture and our communities as well. Dreamers and a Clean Dream Act are central to that. Youth and Dreamers have come out of the shadows in scary times. It is about much more than trying to win; we are fighting for our very way of life. People who are associated with Undocumented people, please know we hear and see he emotional harm caused by these political developments and are offering any support.

Rev. Jayme Mathias, Board member of AISD, said:

We stand in solidarity with our Hispanic students and our English-Language Learners. These are our children and this is their country. There is no reason to tear innocent children away from their families and the only home that they know. We stand with every lawmaker that supports the Dream Act.