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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Immigrant Rights | Racial Justice
Santa Cruz DREAMers travel to Washington DC to fight for rights of undocumented
Three Santa Cruz DREAMers will travel to Washington DC to demand a #CleanDREAMAct ahead of a January 19 vote in Congress.
If you live in Santa Cruz, chances are you’ve already met a DREAMer. Around 1,700 young people in the Santa Cruz/Watsonville area currently have protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If Congress does not pass a Dream Act by January 19, these young people face an uncertain future in the only home country they have known. Nationwide, 15,315 people have already lost their deferred action protections since the repeal of DACA on September 5, 2017. After March 5, 2018 thousands more will begin to lose their protected status every day if Congress does not act.
DREAMers have mounted an inspiring fight for their rights and the rights of all undocumented people. Three local youth have joined the fight, launching the Santa Cruz DREAMer Project, under the umbrella of the Sanctuary Santa Cruz network. After a weekend whirlwind of fundraising involving the sale of 700 tamales, the three have raised enough money to to pay for their travel to Washington DC January 13-20. They plan to join in a week of actions designed to send a message to Congress: No DREAM, No Deal.
Come hear their stories, learn about the fight to for a clean DREAM Act to finally grant them a path to citizenship, and to find out how you can help, come “Meet the DREAMers” on Tuesday evening, January 11, 2018, 6:30-8:30 at the Neary Lagoon Apartments Community Room, 81 Chestnut Street.
“I want Congress to know that we DREAMers are more than just a number to be negotiated,” said Gabriela Cruz, founder of the Santa Cruz DREAMer Project. “We are not a bargaining chip for either political party. It’s time to be seen and be heard!”
The three local youth will be joined by Barbara Hernandez, one of the #DREAM7 arrested in a sit-in at the congressional office of Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL). While in jail, the 7 DREAMers plus one ally went on hunger strike for 7 days, refusing to give their names until Congress passed the DREAM Act. Though they ended their hunger strike when Congress passed a temporary spending bill without a Dream Act, they have vowed to return and fight for passage of a Clean DREAM Act in January. For more background on the #DREAM7, read Letter From a DC Jail.
“On January 19th 2018 Congress has the power to change our lives and grant 800,000+ DREAMers a legal path towards citizenship,” said Cruz. “Margarito Rodriguez, Cinthia and I will be in D.C. fighting for the DREAM Act, but we hope the Santa Cruz community as a whole can help us in the fight.”
Margarito Rodriguez shared his determination to fight for the human rights of all immigrants: “I thought crossing the Nogales desert at the age of five was the last border I would have to cross in my life, but borders keep being put in front of every DREAMer and every undocumented person. But just like borders keep being put up we will persist and cross every one of them. In Washington D.C. we will put our bodies on the line to protect our people and our human rights. We will go to claim our space and most importantly tell our stories that never get heard.”
Cinthia agrees: “ I’m currently enrolled at Cabrillo College, I will be graduating with honors in the Spring of 2018. I will hopefully transfer to UC Berkeley and become a lawyer. However, on September 5th, after President Tweet 45 revoked DACA, all of my goals, efforts, and dreams were disregarded. President 45 is killing dreams and changing our destinies. Going to Washington D.C. will give me the opportunity to stand alongside other DREAMers. We all want to be there to support and demand a clean DREAM Act on January 19th, 2018.”