Arizona Dreamers, Civil Rights Leaders Call on Congress to Immediately Pass the Dream Act

Categories: Immigration, Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, inouye@civilrights.org

Arizona – Today, Eduardo Sainz, Arizona State Director, Mi Familia Vota; Reyna Montoya, DACA recipient and Teach for America alumnae; and Abril Gallardo, DACA recipient and Communications Director, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) participated in a press briefing to call on Congress to immediately pass a clean bipartisan Dream Act.

President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was a grave injustice against nearly 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to this country as children and have grown up in the United States. After the president’s cruel action, it’s now up to Congress to fix this manufactured crisis without any amendments that could harm the young individuals who make our country stronger every day.

Today’s call also comes on the heels of a letter that 186 civil and human rights groups sent to Congress earlier this month calling for swift passage of the Dream Act.

A recording of today’s call is available here.

Participants in the call spoke out on the urgent need for Congress to act:

“We demand a clean DREAM bill without any enforcement provisions. DACAmented youth should not be used as bargaining chips to further destroy immigrant families and to militarize our borders and neighborhoods. As it is, taxpayers spend more money on federal immigration enforcement than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. We demand that Congress vote immediately on a clean DREAM Act. It would be immoral and unjust to wait until closer to the March 5, 2018 date set by the president to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” said Eduardo Sainz, Arizona State Director, Mi Familia Vota.

The sense of urgency for me is great. I am one of the 28,000 DACA beneficiaries in Arizona whose future is hanging by a thread due to the termination of DACA. Senators McCain and Flake have a choice of standing on the right side of history and protecting our Arizona youth from deportation by passing a clean Dream Act before ICE starts deporting us to a now foreign land. I am hopeful that good people of conscience will raise their voices and tell Congress to support a stand-alone Dream Act.” said Reyna Montoya, DACA recipient; Founder & Executive Director, Aliento; 2017 Echoing Green Fellow; and Teach For America alumnae.

Abril Gallardo, DACA recipient and Communications Director, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), said: “In recent days, there has been a lot of talk about deals and compromises on the lives of 800,000 immigrant youth who have DACA like me. But when I go home, the talk I have with my parents and siblings at the dinner table is that no matter what, we will protect each other and this is our home. So, I want to be clear— we do not yet have legislative language on a so-called “deal” on Dream. That’s why I’m calling on Senator McCain, Representative McSally and Representative Schweikert to support a clean Dream Act, because freedom for one group should not hinge on the fear of another group.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of approximately 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference, visit www.civilrights.org.