Issued November 09, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry and Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Repairers of the Breach President, released the following statement in support of the Dreamers who took over the Senate Hart Office Building earlier today:
“We, along with millions of others, have been inspired by the young people who courageously made their voices heard in the halls of the United States Senate. Ending DACA was cruel and irresponsible, but Dreamers and their communities have not been intimidated. Our movements are proud to be their allies and will continue to march, advocate and call on Congress to show half the courage on display today and pass a Dream Act – with no strings attached – by the end of this year.
“Our entire nation has benefitted from bringing the hardworking, entrepreneurial Dreamers out of the shadows. The nearly 800,000 young people who are part of the program are getting an education, going to work, paying taxes and raising families in America. This is part of the larger effort to criminalize immigrants, just as we’ve seen the criminalization of communities of color across the nation.
“The same game is being played with the lives of 300,000 more people who have Temporary Protected Status. They came to the U.S. after being forced to flee places like Haiti and El Salvador. Ending their protections is unacceptable. Congress needs to support both Dreamers and TPS recipients.
“That message was delivered throughout the day at more than 50 actions nationwide and by thousands of phone calls made as part of a national day of action. This community will continue to take to the streets and make their voices heard until Congress passes a Dream Act with no border wall and no poison pills that are designed to hurt families. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell should put such a bill up for a vote immediately so that Congress can pass it by the end of this year.”
Henry and Barber both lead organizations that have a deep belief economic justice is impossible without racial and immigrant justice. Their members have partnered together on crucial mobilizations, days of action and anniversaries.