Press Releases

Rep. Roybal-Allard Joins Kids and Teens to Call for Congress to Pass a Clean Dream Act and Protect Families with TPS Before End of Year

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Washington, December 7, 2017 | Ben Soskin ((202) 225-1766) | comments
This morning, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), co-author of the House Dream Act and co-chair of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform, and Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform co-chair Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) took part in a Capitol Hill press conference supporting passage of a clean Dream Act and protecting families with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) before the end of the year.  They appeared alongside children, teens, and immigrant moms from the We Belong Together campaign, and advocates including We Belong Together organizing and program director Anna Duncan and Moms Rising executive director/CEO Kristin Rowe-FinkbeinerA video of the press conference is available here.

Following the press conference, a delegation of kids and teens delivered letters sharing their “Dream for the Holidays” with their representatives in Congress and leaders in the House and Senate.  The letters urged Congress to pass a clean Dream Act and to protect immigrant families threatened by the elimination of TPS before Congress goes on break for the holidays.  Members of Congress received letters or “coal” depending on whether they have been “naughty or nice” to children and immigrant families this year.  The delegation was composed of children and families from Colorado, Florida, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Nevada, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

Over one million people could soon be at risk of deportation, as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expires for 800,000 young immigrants and the Trump administration slowly eliminates TPS that protects from deportation more than 300,000 immigrants from countries severely affected by natural disasters or violent conflicts.  Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children are living in growing fear of being separated from their DACA-recipient or TPS-recipient parents or loved ones.  One out of every four DACA recipients has U.S.-born children, and 273,000 American citizen kids have parents with TPS.
For six consecutive years, We Belong Together has conducted the letter-writing campaign “Wish for the Holidays” so children and youth around the country can make their voices heard asking their representatives in government to keep families together.  This year, the campaign highlights the dreams of children who will be most harmed if Congress fails to act before the end of the year on passing a clean Dream Act and protecting families with TPS.

Throughout the month of December, children are writing their own letters to Congress and sharing them at or on social media with the hashtag #DreamForTheHolidays.  Schools, houses of worship, and community groups are organizing letter-writing parties and delivering letters to their members of Congress at their district offices.  Recently, groups hosted letter-writing parties in Homestead, Florida, Miami, and Virginia, and delivered letters to Senator Marco Rubio in Miami.

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