Democrats have held Dreamers hostage for far too long; with the lives of 2 million immigrants on the line we demand immediate action

“As DreamActivist.org and our over 350,000 members around the nation, we implore Democrats to come to the table and negotiate an end to the shutdown. Not only are 800,000 federal workers being held hostage, but so are the lives of over 2 million immigrants who deserve a permanent solution. We stand with LULAC, and support any effort to find a permanent solution for our members.

Under the Obama administration, the same congressional Democrats who today are leading the “resistance” against Trump, supported Obama while he built the largest deportation force this country has ever witnessed. For 15 years now Democrats have continued to stall any opportunity to advance protections for the over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Democrats, year after year, funded the deportation of more than 2.1 million undocumented immigrants, many of them the same DACA students they now profess to care about. They negotiated harsh enforcement packages without any concessions in return, even allowing the Obama administration to build new family detention centers. They said nothing when fathers were torn apart from their children and even fought in Federal Court to prevent children as young as 3 from being provided attorneys.

“Dreamers today only need protection as a result of 5 democrats who voted against the DREAM Act in 2010, a stand-alone bill that would have granted permanent legal status for the now DACA students. The same organizations -FIRM Action, United We Dream, Reform Immigration for America- who today call into question the morality of negotiating with Trump held ‘back door’ meetings with Senate Democrats to kill the DREAM Act. In 2014, in an internal strategy memo, Ali Noorani from the National Immigration Forum blamed failure of reform on the plight of thousands of unaccompanied children who fled imminent death to seek protection in the United States. The Forum’s sentiments were echoed by Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton and other leading administration officials.

“Make no mistake about it, we are not coming to the table because we want to, rather because we have no faith that Democrats will ever act on their promises. Under Democratic leadership, even when they controlled the House, Senate and the Presidency, we gained nothing but continued enforcement without a single concession in return. In 2010 Sen. Schumer proposed and passed a sweeping $600 million bill for harmful border enforcement. In 2013 the Senate passed S.744, a bill that would have allocated funding for 700 miles of fencing, the hiring of over 20,000 new CBP officers, increased penalties for immigrants with certain criminal charges and countless other measures that would have had lasting long-term effects on the lives of the same immigrants they profess to care about today.

“For eight years, the Democrats allowed President Obama to be far worse than Trump has been. And the same immigrant rights organizations refusing to negotiate are the same ones who told immigrants to tolerate Obama’s deportations. Democrats care more about keeping the immigration issue and immigrants as their political pawns than negotiating a real solution. The existing DACA policy, issued in 2012, came about only after our members occupied and shut down dozens of Obama campaign offices around the country. Just weeks after the DACA decision, not believing the Democrats promises that some would be spared from deportation, our members infiltrated the Broward Detention Center uncovering scores of Dreamers still facing deportation. In 2013 our members self-deported to Mexico, only to return days later with hundreds of previously deported immigrants, demanding that they be allowed to reunite with family in the United States.

“While other organizations (United We Dream, FIRM Action, UndocuBlack and the Southern Border Communities Coalition) claim to speak for the ‘affected population,’ their words ring just as hollow as the failed promises of Democrats. These same organizations take pride in being part of the “resistance,” and refuse to reach across the aisle. As DreamActivist.org, an organization solely made up, and lead by the undocumented immigrants, we have been successful working with Republicans to win discretion under the Trump administration. Our members do not have the convenience of “resisting” when they could be deported tomorrow. Regardless of how the negotiations end, we will continue to reach across the aisle and build meaningful relationships to defend our members.

“Our membership is calling for immediate action from Democrats, to finally come to the table and negotiate a deal that will lead to a permanent solution for DACA and TPS beneficiaries. We unequivocally stand with LULAC and will do everything in our power, just as we did when Sen. Rubio (R) proposed his own DREAM Act measure in 2012, to ensure that our members voices are heard.

Media Contact: 520-243-9777

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DreamActivist.org is the largest and only immigrant rights organization in the country that is lead solely by undocumented immigrants. All of the work we do is directly funded by our over 350,000 members across the United States. DreamActivist.org has affiliated organizations throughout the Americas, in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Our mission has always been to be a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable amongst us.