Media Contact: Lucia Allain 646-488-5919, Lucyallain@gmail.com; media@fightforourdream.org

Seven Young Undocumented Immigrants Risk Deportation, Remain in Jail on Hunger Strike Following Arrest for Peaceful Demonstration in Congressional Offices Frida

With their lives in limbo and time running out, undocumented youth take bold action to demand that Sen. Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Curbelo (R-FL) ensure enough votes to block any year-end spending bill that does not include a Clean Dream Act.

Washington, DC -
Seven DACA beneficiaries and one ally were arrested Friday calling on leaders from both parties to ensure votes to pass a Clean Dream Act by the end of the year. They are now entering day 4 of incarceration and continue to be on a hunger strike. All eight have made a decision not share personal information with police and not cooperate until Sen. Schumer and Rep. Curbelo publicly confirm that they have the votes to block any spending bill that does not include a clean Dream Act. Until then, the DACA recipients and ally are willing to stay in jail. With every day, there is an increased risk of detention by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE).


“We have seen this before, empty promises from both political parties. I remember being in the Senate gallery in 2010 as members of both parties voted down the DREAM Act. We had assurances from Democratic leaders that they would whip the votes. We had sympatic meetings with Republicans who said they believe we deserve an opportunity,” recalled Juan Pablo Orjuela, a DACA recipient and friend of the incarcerated. “I am now standing outside of the jail where my friends were taken, where they are exposed to the deportation machine now under control of President Trump. DACA is no longer a protection for me, it is no longer a protection for the seven who are detained. Sen. Schumer and Rep. Curbelo have the power to assure the votes needed but instead of using it, they choose to delay and make empty promises. Sen Schumer, Rep Curbelo, will you continue to stand by as my friends are at risk of deportation or will you have the courage to force your colleagues to do what you know to be right? Will you continue to delay as I count down the days until I am forced back into the shadows to live in fear of being torn from my family and community?”


“We have been in jail for 4 days now. We haven’t eaten since Friday morning. We are tired. Our parents and communities are worried about us. But I am willing to risk deportation because I have nothing else to lose,” said one of the 7 arrested DACA beneficiaries. “We are willing to risk it all. We are asking Schumer - what are you willing to risk?”


“Some say that we can wait to pass legislation. But every day the Dream Act does not pass, more undocumented youth are at risk of detention and deportation. There is no time to waste. We need permanent protection now.” said another one of the undocumented youth in jail.


All eight individuals arrested were brought before a judge and charged with unlawful entry. We have reason to believe that D.C. Pre-Trial Services contacted ICE regarding one Undocumented Youth’s immigration status. There is a concern surrounding further ICE communication and engagement for the other youth as the days go by and they continue to be in police custody. One of the youth incarcerated has been reported as Erika Andiola, former press secretary for Bernie Sanders and a DACA recipient.

Dreamers incarcerated are making a sacrifice and risking their status, deportation, and their health to protect the 800,000 Dreamers in the country. Individuals are expected be brought up before a judge Tuesday morning.

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Please contact Candice Fortin at (917) 244-7206, if you would like to interview participants involved in this action. You can view a livestream of today’s press conference
here.

PDF of this release.

Fightforourdream.org

The #OurDream campaign is a coalition effort led by undocumented youth that includes: The Seed Project, Our Revolution, Youth Caucus of America, Democracy Spring, Progressive Democrats of America, Justice Democrats, Presente.org, Good Jobs Nation, Millennials for Revolution, Undocumented, Students for Education Equity, Democratic Socialist of America (NYC), The People's Consortium for Economic and Human Rights, Inc., Working Families Party, People for Bernie, Women's March, Common Defense PAC/Vets Against Hate, Action Group Network, Million Hoodies