From the poet Martin Niemoller about Nazi Germany –
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
This month Juan Manuel Montes, a DREAMer who had lived in the U.S. since he was 9 years old, with cognitive disabilities, and who had been granted relief from deportation under President Obama’s (DACA) program, was sent back to Mexico. This is the first case of a DACAmented youth, with federal authorization to live and work in the U.S., being deported. But it probably won’t be the last. Just this week, on April 19th, a mother of four U.S.-born American children, who had lived in the U.S. for nearly two decades, with no criminal record, was put on a plane and sent to Mexico, separating her from her young children. Those who forget the lessons of history are bound to repeat it. This is why we care. This is why we must resist.
National Indivisible put out an excellent explanation of where we are and what we can do about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and I’ve posted some of it below.
The March 5 deadline is fast approaching, when 1200 DACA recipients a day will be losing protection.
Now not one, but two, Republican shutdowns are behind us. Since 45 unilaterally ended the DACA program in September, Republicans have done absolutely nothing to protect Dreamers. In fact, they’ve turned their lives upside down. Republicans put Dreamers in constant fear of detention and deportation, all in service to 45’s hateful anti-immigrant agenda. 45 would protect Dreamers…and deny protection for their parents! In essence, 45’s plan would give Dreamers status if they turn their parents in for deportation.
We know a clean Dream Act would pass the House if Paul Ryan put it to a vote. But he refuses to do that, in service to the legacy of disgraced former GOP Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert who originated the “Hastert Rule,” which says the majority of the majority must support legislation before it comes to the floor. It is Paul Ryan’s fidelity to partisanship and Hastert’s (a convicted felon’s) governing choices that blocks the Dream Act from coming to the House floor today.
The hard truth is that passing the Dream Act before the (45-induced) March 5 deadline will be very difficult. Immigration hardliners in Congress — and in the White House (looking at you, Stephen Miller) — are using DACA as a bargaining chip to make extreme changes to our immigration system, and to make it easier to tear apart immigrant families. Be prepared for a May 1 national day of action.
This coming week, we expect the Senate to undertake an unusual process where multiple immigration bills are considered. McConnell and Schumer are negotiating the process as we speak, so we don’t know the details on how many different bills will be considered (we expect two or three) or if there will be amendments allowed on the floor. And we really don’t know just how much of a bitter pill these proposals will be. What we do know is that we need you, as much as ever, to put pressure on your members of Congress this week to ensure we protect Dreamers.
Call Congressman Knight and tell him:
Please support a clean Dream Act. Put your energy into creating a path to citizenship, not terrorizing communities. Stop using Dreamers as a bargaining chip for extreme policies.
And, encourage our Senators to keep fighting for Dreamers. Tell them –
I support efforts to come up with a clean Dream Act.
Senator Feinstein: email,
DC (202) 224-3841,
LA (310) 914-7300,
SF (415) 393-0707,
SD (619) 231-9712,
Fresno (559) 485-7430
Senator Harris: email,
DC (202) 224-3553,
LA (213) 894-5000,
SAC (916) 448-2787,
Fresno (559) 497-5109,
SF (415) 355-9041,
SD (619) 239-3884