Press Conference and Rally to Defend DACA and TPS Dreamers Begin 5-Day Hunger Strike

WASHINGTON _ CASA, United We Dream and thousands of young DREAMers and TPS holders will take part in a number of actions Tuesday, September 5, in the nation’s capital, to demand President Donald Trump put partisan appeals aside and do what is right to protect immigrants who came here as children and others who were forced to flee their country due to wars or natural disasters.

The event is being held to bring attention to two important deadlines. September 3rd is the deadline for the administration to declare whether they will continue granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to people from Sudan and South Sudan.  Often called Temporary Asylum, TPS has allowed more than 300,000 immigrants from 10 countries which suffered catastrophic events, to stay and work legally in the United States. Across the next several months, the administration will be deciding the fate of the hundreds of thousands of TPS holders some of whom have spent decades going through extensive legal vetting and criminal background checks to remain here.

“The decision could deliver a devastating blow to the DC-area and especially to the Salvadoran community here,” said Salvador Zelaya, of the Salvadoran Civic Business Committee of the Washington DC area. “We have businesses here, we have children who have grown up here, it’s a nightmare for our families.”

The march and rally are also a call for the administration and Congress to support DREAMers with DACA status.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has given legal status to more than 800,000 young people and allowed them the opportunity to lawfully work and study in the United States. Rumors have circled that the Trump Administration would decide the DACA issue this week ahead of a September 5 arbitrary deadline set by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton wrote President Trump telling him to rescind DACA or face a lawsuit from a 10-state coalition led by Texas. Events in Houston may have delayed that decision but the demise of DACA by the Trump Administration may be imminent.

“With or without an announcement from the Trump administration, our community and our allies will take to the streets to protect immigrant youth,” said United We Dream Executive Director Cristina Jimenez. “DACA has transformed the lives of my brother and 800,000 immigrant youth and we are NOT being pushed back into the shadows. We will rally and march to show the Trump administration and Members of Congress that immigrant youth are #HereToStay.”

“We do not want to be a political football,” said CASA in Action board member Jose Aguiluz, who is also a DACA recipient. “This decision is about how we will live in this country, how we will continue to work, study and contribute to the economy and well-being of our communities.”

Joining the many DREAMers and TPS holders at the press conference will be about 20 DACA and TPS recipients who will begin a 5-day hunger strike to bring attention to their cause.

The actions on Sept. 5 will take place in two locations:

  • 1:30 p.m. – Press conference and subsequent march at offices of USCIS, 20 Massachusetts Ave NW, hosted by CASA. The march will continue to the White House.
  • 4 p.m. – Rally at the White House, hosted by United We Dream

Other supporting organizations include the Center for Popular Democracy, Church World Service, FIRM, Make the Road New Jersey, Make the Road Pennsylvania, NAKASEC, One PA, Our Revolution, SEIU 32BJ, UNITE HERE Local 7.

WHAT: March & Rally for DACA and TPS

WHEN: 1:30 – 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 5, 2017

WHERE: 

1:30 p.m. USCIS, 20 Massachusetts Ave N.W.

 4 p.m. Lafayette Park, in front of the White House.

WHY: To Defend DACA and TPS.

WHO:  CASA, Church World Service, FIRM, Make the Road New Jersey, Make the Road Pennsylvania, NAKASEC, One PA, Our Revolution, SEIU 32BJ, UNITE HERE Local 7, United We Dream