Will the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Stand With Immigrant Youth and the DREAM Act?
Monday, July 26, 2010
The Dream is Coming
Listen here to Representative Gutierrez of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus tell the five undocumented youth sitting in Reid’s office that they are responsible for the division in the immigration reform movement.
In response Jose of Texas, Laura of California, Nico of Illinois, Isabel of Virginia, and Erika of Arizona released the following statement, urging the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to step up and publicly support the DREAM Act as a stand-alone bill. Full statement here:
We are calling for action because our present is unbearable.
The DREAM Act cannot be put on hold anymore much less be the subject of false divisiveness. We risk our future and face the real possibility of deportation. At the very least we expect for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to fight shoulder to shoulder with us on our own terms.
We ask that he respect the need of a win for our community right now and actively work to pass the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill this summer. We are clear when we say we will continue the fight for real immigration reform, however, we must act in consideration of our present reality. We, as undocumented people, are the ones that have to live the consequences of a flawed strategy that keeps us waiting and as such, we demand the required respect to allow us to make decisions in what is, after all, OUR future.
Here is the complete transcript:
Gutierrez: So what is your goal?
Isabel: To pass the DREAM Act.
Gutierrez: And you think your getting arrested is going to do that?
Isabel: We know that Senator Reid has power to put dream for a vote, we’re gonna sit here till he actually does it, till he actually puts on the schedule.
Gutierrez: what if it fails?
Isabel: well we’ll keep fighting for it… we have to take a risk, la vida es un riesgo.
Gutierrez: you know something you guys are all adults, you know what you’re doing, i wish the best for you
Nico: we have Erika from AZ we have Laura from CA Jose from TX Isabel from VA and myself from Illinois and we came here because this is our common goal ….. we’re tired of waiting, we need this to happen, now you guys keep pointing fingers, it’s the republicans… we’re tired of the debates it’s time for action…
Gutierrez: I’m ready to get CIR enacted which includes the DREAM act I think you all know that… listen the last time we were in Washington and DREAMers came we told them we’d take their place on the line as people who would get arrested. Next time i get arrested, i suspect that that may happen, i understand your frustration… i empathize and so the next time as we move forward on this issue … but i think there is movement in the senate and i am not quite sure you’re getting arrested and possibly deported actually advances this… I am not sure that that’s gonna happen. That is why the last time i was in front of the white house i got arrested along with others and the dreamers and left their shoes that they had walked in, symbolically there.
Nico: But nothing really happened that day, and to this day nothing has happened. and you know Luis Gutierrez that’s what we’re trying to get across… we have been waiting and you guys, we keep waiting for you guys, you keep pushing the deadlines back, we are working in the background, and we’re ready to stand up for ourselves and our communities and our families
Gutierrez: i haven’t pushed a single deadline back, the president of the united states scolded me, my colleagues say i shouldn’t be out there doing what i’m doing… don’t you guys read the newspapers? i get criticized by democrats!
Isabel: we do, we appreciate that you support CIR but we all know that’s not gonna happen this year and the DREAM act has a chance and it could be a first step to CIR you know let’s do this (through interruptions by G)… and we believe with all our hearts it does have a chance and that if you all put it up for a vote that it will pass. and after that we will fight along with you for CIR but first we need the DREAM act. we have the bill… S729…
Gutierrez: let me finish, I am not your enemy, i will continue to get people to understand the DREAM act, i have told people, i have met with DREAMers in Washington, dc. i invited all of the members of the CHC… um and 3 of them actually came. if it cannot pass in the senate what does that mean for the rest of us? what does that say for the rest of the movement and frustration and the kinds of divisions it will cause? so, i have said, and we’ve made this very clear to anyone from the DREAM … if the bill comes up, and if it is what we can do, and we will now all know if it’s all we can do, then i say pass it. Umm, but you cannot expect people to turn around and … we disagree with you, we do not disagree with you in terms of our role we disagree with you in terms of your analysis of the present moment. you feel it can pass and that the rest will never pass. we don’t believe that. we still believe, we believe -
Nico: we’re not saying it will never pass -
Gutierrez: …the totality will not pass. Everytime someone says the whole thing cannot pass, only part of it, it weakens us, it divides us, it confuses us, it scatters us all over the place. we once had a united movement for comprehensive immigration reform, now we don’t have a united movement, and that is causing, that is detrimental to the movement for all of us…. I know people that have been waiting 25, 30 years for CIR, families are being divided every day, a thousand deportations every day, you know that and I know that.
Mo: Congressman Gutierrez, Congressman Gutierrez –
Gutierrez: We have to fight and work for all of them –
Nico: Let the youth speak, please –
Mo: Congressman Gutierrez, Congressman Gutierrez, my name is Mohammad, I was one of the youth that was in the sit-in in Senator McCain’s office, on May 17 in AZ, as a result I have been placed in deportation proceedings so for you to sit here and talk to these 5, 6 youth that are sitting in this office, and to put them down, and to constantly tell them instead of supporting them, is a shame. You need to stand up for this community, this is going to continue to happen, and you need to be their ally.
Gutierrez: You made this decision to do this as adults, to take this kind of actions, as adults.
Nico: Because nothing has happened –
Gutierrez: As a member of this movement, as someone who has been involved in it from day 1, I disagree… you cannot…. [recording ends.]
link to http://www.thedreamiscoming.com/2010/07/26/will-the-congressional-hispanic-caucus-stand-with-immigrant-youth-and-the-dream-act/