While President-elect Donald Trump has consistently said that he seeks to deport all undocumented immigrants, yesterday (December 7), he said that he would consider not pushing out the DREAMers—a label frequently applied to people who came to America as children.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Mr. Trump told Time magazine in an interview for the article that proclaimed him the Person of the Year. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
But today (December 8), a group of immigrant rights activists and DREAMers say that it’s not enough for Trump and other federal officials to only stand up for those who qualify for protection via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. To that end, the group is staging direct actions at congressional offices today to implore Democratic members of Congress to fight for all undocumented people.
“In the past couple of weeks we have seen Democrats in Congress stand up for DREAMers and DACA recipients. While we think that work is important, we have to remind Democrats in Congress and broader public that all undocumented immigrants deserve protection as well,” Maria Fernanda Cabello, a DREAMer and organizer with Movimiento Cosecha, said in an emailed statement.
The activists want Congress to put protections in place ahead of Trump’s January 20 inauguration. From Movimiento Cosecha’s announcement of the coordinated actions:
In order to fulfill his campaign promises, the president-elect would have to criminalize immigrants on a mass scale, vastly expand Obama’s immigration enforcement machine, conduct unprecedented large scale raids and create a culture of fear and intimidation. Faced with this reality, DREAMers and immigrant rights activists are calling for the Democrats in Congress to do everything in their power to protect all undocumented immigrants before the inauguration and reject any efforts to grant protection for DACA recipients that comes at the expense of increased enforcement, raids and devastation for the rest of the 11 million undocumented people in this country. It is imperative that a clear message is sent out to all immigrants: your protection matters and we must fight for it.
The actions are set to begin today at 11 a.m. ET at congressional offices in Washington, D.C.