#DREAM7 Update: Three Leave Jail While Four and One Ally Stay, Continuing a Risk of Deportation

Dec 19, 2017
5:42 PM

Editor’s Note: Here is the latest media release we have received about the #Dream7:

Washington, DC  After an unprecedented five days in jail on hunger strike, three young undocumented immigrants will be released from jail, with five more protesters remaining in custody. The eight activists were originally arrested on Friday after peaceful demonstrations at the Congressional offices of Sen. Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Curbelo (R-FL). While in custody, the seven DACA recipients and ally chose to not cooperate with police when asked their names, remaining in jail and risking deportation to demand that their representatives rally enough votes to block the year-end spending bill if it does not include protection for Dreamers.

Due to Sen. Schumer’s inaction and betrayal of undocumented youth, Belen Sisa (DACA recipient), Li Adorno (DACA recipient), Hector Jairo Martinez (DACA recipient) have chosen to leave jail and end their hunger strike in order to hold him accountable. Reneging on public statements made following the repeal of DACA on September 5, Schumer has failed to take a stand for a clean Dream Act and prioritize protection for Dreamers by the end of the year.

Making a statement on her release, Belén Sisa said: “I am leaving jail to deliver a message to Sen. Schumer. He has said repeatedly he stands with Dreamers and that we need a Dream Act by the end of the year. We gave him a chance to put those words into action but he failed us. He let me spend five days behind bars, with no food, the risk of ICE involvement increasing every day. It’s unbelievable that the incredible sacrifices we have made —that my friends are still making— are not enough to push Schumer to take more risk himself and rally the necessary votes. My community stood by me, but Chuck Schumer did not.”

Since their arrest on Friday, the “Dream 7” and their ally have activated thousands of supporters and sparked national and local media attention, including coverage from Telemundo, Univision, Democracy Now!, The Young Turks, Wall Street Journal, and CBS News. Immigrants and allies have organized over 30 solidarity vigils and actions across the country and called on their members of Congress to meet the activists’ demands. Yesterday, Sen. Hirono (D-HI) answered their call for #NoDreamNoDeal and confirmed that she will vote against any year-end spending bill that does not include protection for Dreamers.

Other members of Congress who claim to “stand with Dreamers” —including dozens of Democrats and Republicans who have publicly advocated for a clean Dream Act by the end of the year— have yet to pledge action with regards to blocking the spending bill, many now citing the White House’s March 5 deadline to pass legislation protecting DACA recipients.

“The reality is that legislators don’t see the Dream Act as a priority. They’ve let our lives hang in the balance for 16 years. They never deliver, so why would I believe another promise? Every day they wait, my community is at risk for detention and deportation. By staying silent Schumer is letting us know that he really does see Dreamers as ‘bargaining chips.’ I won’t give him the power to negotiate away my dignity,” said Li Adorno, another DACA recipient being released. “When I leave jail today, I will confront him for betraying the sacrifices I have made, the sacrifices of the four DACA recipients still behind bars right now. Any spending bill he votes for without a clean Dream Act is a vote for our deportation.”

Four DACA recipients and their ally remain in jail, continuing to not cooperate and risk deportation. Their demand is the same: pass a clean Dream Act now by rejecting any version of the spending bill that do not include permanent protection for undocumented youth.

Upon their release, the Belen, Li, and Hector will join hundreds of undocumented youth currently in Washington, DC who continue to press Sen. Schumer and Congress on #NoDreamNoDeal.

At 7:00 pm, there will be a vigil outside the jail at 1901 D St SE for those who remain in custody. There will be a press conference at the same location at 8:30 pm, when Belen, Li, and Hector are expected to be released. Facebook event here.