For Immediate Release
July 21, 2017
New Virginia Majority stands with Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and 19 other attorneys general across the U.S. who have called on the President to maintain and defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We fight for a Virginia where every resident can live in dignity and have access to opportunity. DACA gives eligible immigrant youth brought to the U.S. as children protection from deportation, and a work permit. These young people bravely disclosed their identities to the government in exchange for a chance to live without fear. Threatening to take away their only accessible protections against being snatched away from their families is immoral, unjust, and cruel.
Jennifer the DREAMer:
“As a DREAMer, I came to the U.S. from Honduras when I was 10 years old. My parents brought me here so that I could have a better future than my country would’ve offered. I attended Mount Vernon Community School, George Washington Middle School, and graduated from T.C. Williams High School in 2015. I received so much support from my teachers along the way who believed in me and inspired me to thrive even through difficult and uncertain times. Because of them, I want to become a teacher. Because of DACA, I can. I recently graduated from Northern Virginia Community College, completing the Honors Program. I am preparing to attend George Mason University with a full scholarship. I’m excited to see what the future holds for me, but I am also scared because for me and my family, these are still times of uncertainty. That’s why DACA means everything. It gives me hope and makes me feel safer and welcomed.”
Glancy the DREAMer:
“I came to the U.S. from Guatemala when I was 11 years old. Virginia is my home. I graduated from T.C. Williams high school in 2013 and NOVA Community College in 2015. I feel like DACA is what gives me an identity here. With DACA I got my driver’s license and I was able to have access to an education. Without it, I wouldn't be able to go to school or work and I wouldn’t qualify for in-state tuition even though I’ve lived and worked here all my life. I'm currently enrolled at George Mason University where I’m majoring in social work. I believe that if we give children support and resources they need to thrive, they will change the world. When I become a social worker, I’ll be able to invest in the future of this country by helping children through difficult times. With school and work being a 40 minute drive away, my dreams would be out of reach if DACA was taken away. This program gives me and so many other students who call the U.S. “home” the support we need to live in dignity and without fear.”
DREAMers across Virginia are in classrooms, work multiple jobs to support themselves and their families, serve in the military, and more. America is their home and they are here to stay. Under DACA, more than 600,000 young immigrants have boldly stepped out of the shadows and embraced their future, however, its limited protections are temporary. We must provide more permanent legislative solutions to our broken immigration system.
New Virginia Majority builds power in working-class communities of color across the Commonwealth. We organize for racial and economic justice through large-scale political education, mobilization and advocacy around dozens of issues. We fight for a Virginia that is just, democratic and environmentally sustainable