SIREN Press Release 3/6/18
Media Contact: Erik Schnabel
Hundreds of Youth Walkout and March to San Jose City Hall and Federal Building in Support of Clean DREAM Act and TPS and to Denounce Cruel ICE Enforcements
Yesterday, hundreds of high school and college students walked out of classrooms across San Jose to urge congressional action on a Clean DREAM Act and Temporary Protective Status, and also denounce recent abusive ICE actions in Northern and Central California that resulted in the 232 people being detained. The local action, led by Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), was part of a National Day of Action for a Clean DREAM Act, that saw actions all across the U.S. and a civil disobedience campaign in Washington D.C. urging Congress to act. As students converged on the plaza in front of San Jose City Hall, speakers took the stage to share why they felt the need for action that resulted in student walkouts. Several of the speakers who have received DACA addressed the personal impact of the Trump Administration ending the DACA program, and Congress failing to act to find a permanent solution for the affected young people. As student speaker Amairani Oronia said, “DACA has given me the opportunity to work and go to college. I have protection from immigration because of DACA but for how long?” Although speakers discussed how important DACA is to them, they were also clear that they weren’t willing to compromise their family members in order to get see DACA passed. Several of the speakers referred to various legislative solutions that have been discussed which proposed passage of DACA at the expense of criminalizing their parents for bringing them here or that pushed for the end of certain family categories in the family reunification immigrant program. Many of the speakers also denounced the recent ICE actions across Northern and Central California that occurred last week, which saw the arrest of 232 people. As has been well documented, ICE actions were extremely troubling and caused widespread panic among immigrant communities; with report of racial profiling, ICE vans driving around public parking lots, denial of detainees access to counsel, and various abusive practices. As SIREN Youth Leader, Nithya Badrinath stated in her speech, “ICE has deported, is deporting and wants to deport even more people who came to this country to chase the American Dream, the ideal that this country was founded on, to escape violence and hardship in their native countries, and to live a normal life where they can feel safe and protected”. After gathering at San Jose City Hall to hear the speakers, the youth then marched to the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building to continue the rally, before returning to San Jose City Hall to finish the action.
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