The NYIC, Make The Road, 32BJ SEIU + Others Call For A Clean DREAM Act March + Rally in Queens w/MinKwon and Asian Dreamers, + Co-Sponsors
NEW YORK, NY– Today, March 5th marks President’s Trump’s stated deadline to pass a DREAM Act, and Congress– failing to do so in the last six months– now leaves 800,000 young people in limbo. Since Trump first announced the deadline six months ago, more than 15,000 individuals have lost their DACA status at a rate of 122 people per day.
In response, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), together with Dreamers and allies, rallied in front of Trump Tower for a clean DREAM Act now.
"While Trump and our ineffective Congress flail about, blowing through deadlines, Dreamers are fighting for their future every day. Last week’s Supreme Court decision was a small victory, but it’s still a Band-Aid for the bigger problem that remains: we need a clean DREAM Act now so that Dreamers can continue to hold jobs, get an education, and grow up free from worry,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director at the New York Immigration Coalition.
“Watching Congress debate the DREAM Act time-after-time is anxiety inducing for DACA recipients like myself. We no longer want to be used as pawns in Trump’s dirty political game to score cheap points in exchange for ‘The Wall’ or to further criminalize our community. Dreamers don’t just want your ‘thoughts and prayers’; we want Washington to get its act together,” said Francis Madi, Manager of Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition.
Although some people who have, or have ever had DACA, received a reprieve from the Supreme Court on Monday, the future remains desperately uncertain for many more. The NYIC is in the process of assembling a rapid response legal team to assist with renewal applications. More details to come.
"While two federal courts have blocked Trump’s attempt to end DACA renewals, immigrant youth like me are already under attack. Congress, we are still holding you accountable; stop playing games with my life and that of 800,000 dreamers. We need permanent protection, and the answer is passing the clean DREAM Act now,” said Lizbeth Huitzil, member of Make the Road New York.
“Trump and the Republican leadership have created this shameful crisis. Dreamers belong in our country, and now it is past time for Congress to pass a long term solution for the 800,000 dreamers who work, study and contribute to local economies in our country. Over 86% of Americans agree they should be allowed to stay here, and every day we wait, lives are being ruined. If this Republican Congress fails yet again, SEIU members and our allies will elect leaders in November who will get the job done,” said Héctor J. Figueroa, President of 32BJ Service Employees International Union.
"I’m one of thousands of immigrant youth whose lives have been at risk since Trump cancelled DACA and gave Congress until March 5th to come up with a permanent solution. March 5th is here and Congress has failed. Everyday, our immigrant communities are under attack, and we cannot wait anymore. We demand Congress pass a clean DREAM Act, and stop funding Trump's deportation machine. His budget demands for billions to pay for deportation agents, detention camps. Dreamers, like me, will march to show that the immigrant community is here to stay and here to fight,” said Stephanie Park, Community Organizer at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
“We are stronger as a nation when we come together to challenge any and every issue that we face. DACA has helped so many in our respective communities. It is not for Hispanics, Blacks or Whites. It is for all. DACA recipients pay taxes, which means that they contribute to the nation’s economy. They have a right to stay! The Supreme court has ruled but we still have to fight for that which is morally right. This administration has no compassion. DACA has provided protection from deportation and work permits for over 800,000 youths who came here as children. How can we deny them a permanent stay? We see them in our churches, in our workplaces and in our homes. The Supreme Court’s Decision has given Congress more time to work on passing the DREAM Act. We also need to look at what is happening in our country and to pay more attention for whom we vote. Let’s vote for those individuals who have our children’s best interest at heart. As we stand today in solidarity with the DREAMERS let us stand knowing that the struggle is not over but our youths can continue to dream of a brighter future here in America. We will always be in the struggle for justice,” said Reverend Patricia Malcom, Interim President of Churches United To Save And Heal.
In the evening, the NYIC, MinKwon Center for Community Action, Asian American DREAMers’ Collective, and other co-sponsors marched in Queens.
“The MinKwon Center is proud to join the Asian American DREAMers' Collective, New York Immigration Coalition, directly impacted individuals, and over 30 organizational co-sponsors for a march and rally in Queens on March 5th to demand Congress protect young undocumented immigrants and resist Trump’s calls to cut back family immigration and Temporary Protected Status, and his continued criminalization of our immigrant communities. We refuse to sit silently as the Trump Administration vilifies our communities and uses DACA recipients as pawns for their xenophobic policy goals. Every poll indicates the vast majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents support a Dream Act and a pathway to citizenship. Congress must act now,” said John Park, Co-Director at MinKwon Center for Community Action.
“We march because immigrants make America great, and we will always show them our support and respect. We march for our Dreamers and refugees, for our brothers and sisters with TPS,for our undocumented neighbors. We march for America,” said Favio Ramirez-Caminatti, Executive Director of El Centro del Inmigrante.
“GAPIMNY stands with immigrants and Dreamers fighting for justice and dignity. LGBTQ Asian Pacific Islander immigrants are integral to our families and communities, and GAPIMNY will keep resisting this Administration until all members of our community are safe from detention and deportation,” said Jason Wu, Political Chair of Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY).
“OCA-NY Asian Pacific American Advocates stand with the Dreamers. The young people brought to our country by their parents are very important part of our society. They attend schools, served in the military and contribute to the well-being of our economic system. They have the same aspirations and dreams like all of us and they deserve the opportunity to reach those goals,” Chi Loek, President of OCA-NY Asian Pacific American Advocates
Six months ago, President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and designated March 5th, 2018 as the deadline. Since then more than 15,000 individuals have lost their DACA status at a rate of 122 people per day.
Then on Monday, February 26th, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the Trump administration’s petition to bypass the usual Court of Appeals process, maintaining the current district court injunction to continue to accept renewal applications for DACA. The district court injunction allows anyone who has DACA at any time to either renew or re-apply to the program.
Over fifty percent of DACA recipients under the age of 25 are on track to receive a bachelor’s degree, and in total, over ninety percent of DACA recipients are employed. In the next 10 years, the country stands to lose $460.3 billion in GDP if DACA is ended without a legislative solution. In New York alone, there are 115,000 Dream Act-eligible individuals in the workforce who would add a projected $1.75 billion to the state GDP annually over ten years.
The NYIC urges everyone with DACA or other immigration legal concerns to consult an attorney and send in materials via mail with a method that is trackable. Individuals can get a legal consultation by calling the Office of New Americans (ONA) hotline, 1-800-566-7636.