A country living in fear
SAN FRANCISCO – On September 18, the House Minority Leader, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, was not allowed to speak at a news conference when protesting DREAMers drowned her out with demands to protect all 11 million undocumented immigrants, not just the 800,000 DREAMers under DACA. The DREAMers were concerned about a deal that was struck behind closed doors among Pelosi, Senator Chuck Schumer and President Trump that did not favor the DREAMers. Later that day, at Sacramento State University, she commented on wanting a “Clean DREAM Act.” By “clean,” Pelosi meant without the border wall.
On October 8, President Trump announced a list of items that he expects before agreeing to further protections for the DREAMers. Included was immigration legislation to fund a border wall, a crackdown on sanctuary cities and deporting unaccompanied minors who enter the United States, many of them from Central America. Trump wants heightened immigration law enforcement and he included a request for funds to hire 370 immigration judges, 1,000 attorneys for ICE, 300 federal prosecutors and 10,000 additional ICE agents. This is part of his arsenal for quicker deportation, denials of asylum cases and a national deportation machine. Trump has proposed a point-based or merit-based system for immigrants rather than a family-based one. Attacks on our children and families continue!
After Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to rescind DACA, many across the country mobilized to raise money so that applicants can pay the $495 renewal fee by October 5. Potentially 153,000 out of 800,000 people would need to reapply within one month. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised through Compassionate Crowdfunding, Mission Asset Fund, donors, advocates, and politicians including Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo who alone fundraised $170,000 to make sure no DREAMER in her state would lack the money. Others offered low-interest loans. It is estimated that 50,000 did not reapply by the October 5 deadline. That’s about one third of the 153,000 people who are now subject to deportation.
March 6, 2018 will be the first day that we will start seeing the loss of DACA protections and work permits expiring unless the legislators pass and Trump signs a new law. Without new legislation, this will continue until all 800,000 DACA permits have expired. This is no time to be passive. Lawsuits, rallies, marches, vigils, petitions, letters, etc. must be staged to support a fair and just immigration reform. Do not support proposals unless they favor all of our undocumented community. Trump and his cronies lie and seem to only have feelings of compassion for the almighty dollar. No reform without our parents! All of us or none of us! We are human beings, not bargaining chips!