Thousands of kids have been stolen from their parents by Trump and hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth stand to lose their protections from deportation because Trump killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In fact, just this week, Trump’s Justice Department threatened to pressure the Supreme Court to take up the litigation on how Trump ended DACA so they can kill renewals as quickly as possible.
I’ll never forget what it was like outside of the White House on the day that Trump killed the DACA program. Together with my brother, Jonathan, and hundreds of immigrant youth, we made a choice: we had to fight for our right to stay with our families who were also being targeted by Trump. In the subsequent months, we brought millions of others to join our call on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act.
Republicans in Congress had a choice to make too: either pass a clean Dream Act to protect immigrant youth or allow young people to be deported.
In that moment of great moral clarity, Congressional Republicans shamefully used the crisis faced by immigrant youth as a bargaining chip to build Trump’s wall and expand his mass deportation plan.
Instead of standing up to Trump and doing what was right, they decided to kiss up and push his dangerous anti-immigrant garbage.
Today, immigrant youth and progressive voters have our sights on Trump’s yes-men. We are mounting an unprecedented campaign to elect champions who will defend immigrant youth and people of color.
In Florida, we cannot allow Rick Scott to become another Republican yes-man for Trump in the Senate. We know Rick Scott’s track record.
He vetoed driver’s licenses for undocumented youth, tried to bring Arizona’s “Show Me Your Papers” law to Florida, and denied five million immigrant youth and parents protection from deportation by joining a lawsuit to keep them living in danger.
And in Texas, immigrant youth and our allies have our sights set on Ted Cruz—the most vicious anti-immigrant politician in Congress. When faced with a DACA recipient, he told her she should be arrested and deported and back in February, he was the a motion to start a debate on proposals to support immigrant youth.
In these states and more, United We Dream Action is going door-to-door, phone banking, running digital ads, reaching voters on social media and by text, whatever it takes to turn 500,000 voters out this November.
We need Latinx, youth, and immigrant voters to make it to the polls—because YOUR vote is OUR vote. As undocumented immigrants we cannot vote, but your vote can help us protect our communities from deportation.
We see Trump’s racist attacks on immigrants and people of color everyday. And as Trump becomes more bold, Republicans in Congress rubber stamp his mass deportation agenda and send billions more to the Deportation Force.
It is up to the voters to draw a line in the sand because Congressional Republicans have failed to do it.
The immigrant youth, families and allies of United We Dream Action are determined to fight back in spite of this onslaught and to build a future we can all be proud of. We are calling on all voters to join us.
Cristina Jiménez is Executive Director and Co-founder of United We Dream Action (UWDA), the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. She tweets from @CrisAlexJimenez.
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