Click here for a recording of today’s call.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) and Christian Dreamers pushed Congress to act swiftly and protect young undocumented immigrants.
Flores said he is working on a bill that would provide a solution for Dreamers and address border security.
Members of Voices of Christian Dreamers are in Washington today to meet with members of Congress and urge legislation this month. Before their Hill meetings, they shared their stories in a Facebook Live video.
In another video posted just before Thanksgiving, Christian Dreamers express their gratitude for the opportunities they have received growing up in the United States. Voices of Christian Dreamers estimates that at least 600,000 individuals who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) since 2012 identify as Christians, including about 200,000 who are evangelical Christians.
“We should be as grateful for these young people and their contributions as they are to have grown up in this country,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “We must protect their ability to live and work in our communities. Time is running out.”
The following are quotes from speakers on today’s call:
Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas):
“It is important to remember that the Dreamers did not put themselves into the situation that they find themselves in today. That happened because of the actions of others and because we have a set of laws that really does not fit their situation very well, so we in Congress need to address that. … About 80 percent of the folks in my district think that Dreamers should have a path to legal status, and over 50 percent think they ought to have a path to citizenship, and that is where I am as well. I am putting my rhetoric to work in this regard.”
Liz Dong, Midwest Mobilizer, Evangelical Immigration Table and Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform, Wheaton, Illinois:
“Hundreds of thousands of us will soon lose our employment authorization to continue to support ourselves and our families. This not only hurts individual Dreamers and their families, but it can have disastrous impact on the wider community and economy. Congress needs to pass a permanent legislative solution now to allow Dreamers to stay and continue to work, study and give back. We’re already seeing DACA recipients lose their work permits on a daily basis. There is no time to wait.”
Elisa Gonzalez, Intern Development Director, Urban Hope, Spartanburg, South Carolina:
“Before DACA, going to college and being able to purse my dream job was only a dream. Due to DACA, I have been able not only to pursue an education that will lead to my dream job, but contribute to the country I call home. Creating a path to citizenship for DACA recipients will finally give concrete documents to more than 800,000 people who have called America home for years.”
Katherine Narvaez, Health Program Coordinator, Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS), Norcross, Georgia:
“Through DACA, we were given the opportunity to become first-time homebuyers, entrepreneurs; it enabled us to work legally to better our communities and gave us the possibility to better ourselves through the power of education. Taking DACA away would mean uprooting ourselves from what we know to a world that we would no longer recognize. Upholding the Christian values of empathy, compassion and family, we implore everyone to support the passing of a clean Dream Act to keep families unified and allow the betterment of our nation.”
Fia Vonjimalala, Director of Children’s Ministries, YouthHope, Moline, Illinois:
“As an immigrant minister from Madagascar, my desire is in helping those who feel misunderstood and marginalized find their place and purpose in the community of Rock Island. I am thankful to this country for the opportunity it provides, and I want to give back to it by serving its increasingly diverse populations with my experience as an immigrant, as a minister, and as someone whose heart is for the blessedness of this country.”