One year after President Trump’s election, Dreamers and activists walked out of their schools and jobs to demand that Congress pass a “Clean Dream Act” before the winter recess.
Organizing for Action (OFA), a Bay Area advocacy group and others gathered in solidarity on November 8 at Richmond City Hall.
“We are here to mobilize families to fight for themselves,” said Kook Huber, the rally’s organizer.
The action was one of many held throughout the country under the direction of United We Dream, an immigrant, youth-led organization. They are calling for reform measure that includes what they refer to as a “Clean Dream Act,” which will provide a clear path to citizenship without any additional immigration provisions.
In Richmond, speakers discussed their experiences with the immigrant community in Contra Costa County. Supervisor John Gioia spoke of the importance of “not just standing for all 8,000 Dreamers in Contra Costa, but with their families, too.” He said his office would make sure to start educating the public about who these immigrants were since so many people are misinformed and holding onto “myths.”
Attendees chanted “Up, up with liberation! Down, down with deportation!” to show support for the undocumented communities in Contra Costa.
Diana Diaz, a youth organizer at the RYSE Center, said spaces like the event are hard to find in Richmond. She’s undocumented, and went to the rally to see who was organizing the event.
“After DACA was rescinded, I didn’t know where to go,” she said. Aside from the rally, she hasn’t seen many other spaces open up for the undocumented community.
Dan Safron, volunteer and immigration lead at OFA, said he was at the rally to support his family’s immigrant history alongside the current community. He sees Contra Costa County as leading the country in embracing its diversity, and agrees that a Clean Dream Act is necessary for future immigration reform in the country.
“Even a bill that would help keep Dreamers in the country is useless if it kicks their parents out,” he said.
On September 17, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows immigrants who came into the United States as children to study and work in the country. Part of the administration’s order included a call to Congress to come up with a comprehensive immigration bill before DACA expires in March 2018.