DACA/DREAM Frontera Fund News Trump Watch

Protests, Art and Advocacy Fill This Make-It-or-Break-It December for DACA-DREAMers

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Written by Carmen Cornejo

While most are concerned with shopping, Christmas parties, and family gatherings, undocumented youth are fighting the fights of their lives.

They are working nonstop to pressure members of Congress to vote for legislation that would provide them a legalization process and a path to citizenship.

Aliento's caravan to Washington, DC. Photo: Aliento

Aliento’s caravan to Washington, D.C. Photo: Aliento

As we posted before in Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund, there are several bills that have been introduced to that effect, with different levels of benefits for DACA-DREAMers.

The sense of urgency is real. Trump, in another misguided effort to undo President Obama’s executive actions and his legacy, ordered the phase-off of the DACA program, which protected young undocumented immigrants with good moral character from deportation and gave them a permit to work legally in this country.

That phase-off is a real catastrophe not only for the individuals affected but also their families, their communities and the country’s economy.

In the eyes of undocumented youth, December is the make-it-or-break-it month. There are efforts to attach a DREAM Act type of bill to the funding needed to keep the U.S. government running, which in one way or another needs to pass.

Although the DACA phase-off officially begins on March 6, 2018, the DACA-DREAMers and their advocates know that next year is a mid-term election year and Congress will get paralyzed, making it even more ineffective than it is right now.

Around the country and in our nation’s capital, DACA-DREAMers and supporters are mobilizing. They are talking with congresspeople, protesting in front of the congressional offices, and trying to gain support from lawmakers who have not previously been on their side.

In Arizona, Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund supports organizations that are actively advocating in Washington. Aliento (@AlientoAZ) started a campaign called Vote4DREAM that includes a caravan of DREAMers stopping in different states on their way to Washington, D.C., and knocking on the doors of congressional representatives.

Aliento reports that so far, they have talked to 185 members of Congress to ask them to support the DREAM Act type bill they want the Congress to introduce.

Aliento team is knocking the doors at the US Congress to encourage lawmakers to support and pass a DREAM Act legislation.

The Aliento team is knocking on doors at Congress to encourage lawmakers to support and pass a DREAM Act legislation. Photo: Aliento

You can keep up with Aliento’s activities by visiting their Facebook page.

The Arizona DREAM Act Coalition also has a team advocating in Washington.

Meanwhile, the efforts in Arizona do not stop. The group Undocumented Students for Education and Equity (USEE) at Arizona State University is asking for a clean DREAM Act legislation (meaning, with no additional immigration enforcement or border wall funding) and protesting at Senator John McCain’s office.

Last week, Phoenix area DREAMers participated in the event Inside Out/DREAMers, where portraits of immigrant youth were taken and are now on display outside the Cesar E.Chavez Foundation, located at 1440 E. Washington St., near downtown Phoenix.

@insideoutproject in Phoenix. Photo: Frontera Fund

@insideoutproject in Phoenix. Photo: Frontera Fund

You can admire the large pictures of the smiling DREAMers, who are just like any good young adults in the U.S.