Immigrants Gather at Department of Homeland Security to Demand that Families and Workers be Included in Relief

Posted October 29, 2014 /

For Immediate Release:

Press Contact:

Susana Flores




Immigrants Gather at Department of Homeland Security to Demand that Families and Workers be Included in Relief

What: Press Conference and Rally

Where: 500 12th St., SW, Washington DC, 20536

When:  Thursday, October 30, 12:30pm

Who:  CASA de Maryland, CASA de Virginia, FIRM, and members of the community

At a press conference this Thursday, immigrant families, workers, parents, and advocates will gather in front of the Department of Homeland Security to ask that DHS include the broadest number of Aspiring Americans in its proposal to President Obama.

“When the President approved the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, he went well beyond the narrowly tailored DREAM legislation to include many additional extraordinary young people,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA.  “We believe that administrative relief must include all the workers and parents, regardless of their years in the United States, that make up the American family.”

Thursday’s press conference and protest will include immigrant families and workers who have made this country their permanent home and should be included in a relief that is wide and deep.

“We are not looking for riches,” said Dilma, mother of a US-citizen child, and a recently arrived son. “We migrated seeking basic necessities of food and shelter, a country where our son could attend school in peace, and we believe that we work hard enough in this economy for that dedication to be recognized.”

Attending Thursday’s protest will be Madai “Maya” Ledezma.  Maya, age 32, came to the United States 9 years ago, following a high school sweetheart, Jose Alberto, who had immigrated 7 years earlier.  Together they built a life residing ultimately in New Carrolton, Maryland.  Jose has worked for years for a company that maintains golf courses, while Maya stays home raising their 6-year old daughter Heather.  The family has formed a constant presence at rallies and other activities while also organizing for safe local communities in neighborhoods that struggle to move forward.  An enormous contributor to the Maryland family, Maya and Jose Alberto could face the unimaginable where one parent would qualify for relief while the other is left out.

Another attendee on Thursday will be Misa Garcia.  Misa’s father, Victor Garcia, came to the US 14 years ago from Mexico to work and his wife Esther followed two years later with their four children.  The family settled in Baltimore, where they have developed deep roots in their community.  Two years ago, tragedy struck the family when Esther was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The children each signed up for extra shifts on top of their schoolwork, and the youngest daughter provided in-home care for her mom as she began her recovery.  Misa is a CASA de Maryland board member and leads the youth committee’s effort to urge DACA recipients like his three siblings to fight for their parents, even though he may not qualify for DACA himself.