Seven DREAMers, undocumented and unafraid, along with one ally, led a sit-in at Senator Schumer and Representative Curbelo’s offices. Four days later, they remain in Jail in D.C. where they have pledged to stay until Congress agrees to pass a Clean DREAM Act.
"Every single day that I spend in jail puts me closer to having ICE detain me and have me deported."
These young activists are risking their lives to get a clean DREAM act passed: pic.twitter.com/8AhS3VuWtF
— Splinter (@splinter_news) December 16, 2017
Statements released on Facebook and Twitter indicate the activists are committed to staying in Jail until Congress acts. They stand in place of approximately 800,000 youth who benefited under DACA. With each passing moment, the possibility of ICE involvement grows. Upon information and belief, ICE had had communications with pre-trial detention in D.C about one of the DREAMers in custody. The group will go before a judge today. They are prepared to state their willingness to remain in jail until a Clean Bill is on the table.
If you're reading this, I'm still in police custody after being arrested last night at @SenSchumer office demanding he prove claim to support Dreamers by organizing his caucus to block any spending deal w/out a clean #DreamAct. Will remain until he does. #OurDream #NoDreamNoDeal pic.twitter.com/BXkkXw6haI
— Erika Andiola – #OurDream (@ErikaAndiola) December 16, 2017
For those involved in the #OurDream campaign, passage of a Clean DREAM Act is a priority, as the safety of DACA recipients cannot be secured at the expense of the larger undocumented community. In a statement released yesterday, the activists restated their desire for Senator Schumer to lead his caucus in demanding a Clean bill. They are willing to risk it all, as every day hundreds of DACA recipients lose protection.
Prior conversations concerning the Dream Act involved possible concessions on other areas of immigration “reform.” Many DREAMers have argued that their rights should not be secured on the backs of others. Back in September, Representative Nancy Pelosi was confronted during an event demanding that she publicly support a Clean DREAM Act after reports of her and Senator Schumer meeting with Trump to talk possible compromises to pass a Bill.
Systemic racism and oppression manifested itself in many ways and is a driving force behind ending protections provided by DACA and TPS. There has been no alternative pathway or consideration of basic human rights for these members of our community. We can’t be free until all of our people are free.
These activists are a part of a collective of organizers nationwide who are not letting up until Congress passes a Clean DREAM Act. Today starts a coordinated week of action. Please find a way to support here.
Yesterday morning, I had the opportunity to speak with Brenda Valladares, an organizer with The Seed Project and a member of the legal support team for Our Dream. Check out the full interview below.