United We Dream demands Congress pass ‘Clean Dream Act’

Protesters in front of the White House. (Photo: Merdie Nzanga)

WASHINGTON – United We Dream, a nationwide wide immigrant youth organization gathered near the White House on Nov. 28 demanding lawmakers to pass a clean Dream Act.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary Jessica Vasquez described living in fear during her childhood of the possibility of her father being deported.

“While most of my friends were out looking for dates to the dance, I was worried that my dad would get deported,” Vasquez said.

Emotionally, Vasquez recounted her high school experience as a painful one wondering what would happen to her future in the United States.

“In high school, it was when it really set in what it means to be undocumented,” Vasquez said.

Tamaris Gonzalez, a United We Dream Organizer from Houston, told the crowd that she would continue to fight for those she loved.

“No human being is illegal, we will fight for DACA… I’m still going to protect my family and those around me,” Gonzalez said.

According to the National Immigration Law Center, more than 10,000 DACA recipients have already lost their permits to stay in the country.

“The rights of immigrants, the rights of young people, the rights of workers are the rights of Americans.” Ellen Buchman, Vice President of the Leadership Conference on Civil Human Rights, said.

Buchman also encouraged Dreamers across the country to not give up the fight. 

Protesters in front of the White House. (Photo: Merdie Nzanga)

“While I’m here to tell you yes, these are perilous times, we’ve through this before,” Buchman said.

The United We Dream gathering in Washington came in response to the White House’s effort to meet with Democratic and Republican leaders Nov. 28 in order to discuss funding an immigration bill that must be passed in December. On Oct. 8, President Trump sent Congress a list of immigration policies that would make it challenging for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children to stay.

Gonzalez told those in attendance that undocumented immigrants were incredible human beings and that they were just like any other group of people who deserve the right to an American dream.

“We live life every day with struggles… but we are the strongest people you have ever met. We’ll just keep fighting for the right to live in this country we call home,” Gonzalez said.