Dreamers hit the road for Washington D.C. following local rally
PHOENIX — Oscar Hernandez is right up front about his passion for moving the Congress toward immigration reform and, most importantly, a clean Dream Act.
“We’re taking a group of students to D.C. not only to lobby for us, but to put immigration in spotlight,” Hernandez said.
DACA recipients, Dreamers, and their supporters made up of immigrants and natural born citizens joined together outside Senator Jeff Flake’s office in the Biltmore District Tuesday to publicize their cause.
Hernandez rallied the crowd while calling for Dream Act legislation to solve their concerns.
“As students we are uncertain about our future,” Hernandez said. “Are we going to be able to obtain our degrees, and are we going to be able to work after that?”
Students and others who are temporarily shielded from deportation through the Obama Era Executive Order know there is a clock ticking. They want Congress to heed the words of President Donald Trump when he ended the Act by his own Executive Order and called on the representative body to come together and craft a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.
But for Hernandez, it’s goes beyond that.
“We’re going to ask something that’s even better than DACA. Because that’s what we deserve and what our families deserve!”
That’s why the call for Dream Act legislation is couched behind the term ‘clean’. A Clean Dream Act is legislation that will not only act as a pathway to citizenship but, as Liza Zamudio with Neighborhood Ministries explains, “We don’t want something that will criminalize our people, we don’t want any walls, and folks from Arizona are headed to D.C. to have these conversations.”
Dreamers from 10 states are on their way to Washington D.C., Hernandez among them representing Arizona, to speak before Congress and lobby for a bipartisan Dream Act. For now the clock is ticking as DACA officially ends in March 2018, so Dreamers are anxious to get themselves heard before the winter recess.
“We need to pass a Dream Act now,” Hernandez said, “Because if Congress goes to break, that momentum that we currently have—it’s going to be gone.”