All of our chapters are working this month on immigration reform. We want to see Congress pass a clean Dream Act to protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act (DACA) from deportation and make their status something they can count on. We also want to see recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) protected again. We want an end to deportations that tear families apart. Ultimately, we want comprehensive immigration reform that benefits everyone.
We have hosted letter-to-the-editor writing workshops, visited legislators, helped to provide legal workshops to immigrants, and made hundreds of calls to Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine.
The Obama era direction to ICE to focus deportation on people convicted of serious crimes made sense. It was an efficient use of resources, and it made our communities safer. Victims of crime and witnesses who happened to be undocumented could cooperate with law enforcement, which led to criminals being arrested. Neighborhoods and schools are safer when everyone knows each other.
That stability, even though it was imperfect, is now gone. Undocumented communities do not have access to any of the protections and services they once did. Every day, people who have been living peacefully in the U.S. for decades, working and obeying the law, are arrested and deported, or they wait in detention centers far from their families.
In February, our Fredericksburg Chapter partnered with other groups to host a town hall with Senator Tim Kaine. Chapter leaders Angel and Jennifer Romero, who are DACA recipients, were on hand to ask Senator Kaine why he did not insist on DACA renewal being included in the budget. Click here to see the video of this portion of the town hall.