Yesterday, organizers of the Latinx community in Eugene brought together nearly two hundred members of the Eugene community to stand against the Trump administration’s repeal of the DACA program. Despite hazardous air quality, the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza was overflowing with demonstrators who see the value in DACA dreamers being a part of their community and want to see them safe.
I went as a legal observer for the event, mask over my face to protect my lungs from the fiery inferno around us, and since the cops were mostly leaving the event alone, I did a lot of listening to the many speakers that were brought to the plaza yesterday. What did I learn? I learned that yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of DACA, a program put into place by the Obama administration to offer documentation to undocumented children brought to this country at a young age. It is the type of documentation that allows them to attend university, get drivers’ licenses and secure work permits. I learned that 800,000 children, young adults and adults have accessed the program, and now have the ability to live and work in this country safely, without threat of arrest or deportation.
I learned that 91%, 700,000 of these DACA-mented humans are employed and paying taxes. And that, if the DACA repeal goes into effect, all of those people could be fired from their jobs, causing a massive hit to our economy. I learned the average DACA Dreamer is 22 years old, and that many of them are finishing college degrees, masters’ degrees and dissertations. As local speaker and Latinx advocate Carmen Urbina put it, “This is a direct attack on the heart of the Latino community by the federal government”.
Further, I learned that anyone who is a DACA Dreamer has been reporting biometrics, their legal address and place of employment to the federal government every two years to receive documentation. As one speaker put it, the Feds made a safety contract with these people in exchange for information about their life and whereabouts. And now with the Trump administration at the wheel, the same information can and will be used to imprison and deport.
If the rally was any indication, this decision is being met with outrage, and people are ready to stand up for DACA Dreamers. Here are some next steps and things you can do from Eugene to support the Latinx community, DACA Dreamers and undocumented people who are our neighbors:
- Call your congress people. Congress has 6 months to overturn the Trump decision on DACA. Please call Senators Merkley and Wyden and Congressman DeFazio or write to them at their websites. The Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121.You can leave opinion messages even when offices are closed. Tell them: Members of Congress can do three things right now to protect the 800,000 DACA recipients:
- Appeal directly to the president to keep this program in place.
- Issue a public statement of support for DACA recipients.
- Support S. 1115/H.R. 3440, the Dream Act of 2017.
- If you are not from Oregon you can find your representative by using GovTrack..
- Attend the Community Forum for Allies on September 13th – Location and time TBA, but “Like” the CLDC on Facebook and we will advertise it when the details come out!
- Attend the CLDC’s ‘Resisting ICE in Your Community – Immigrant Rights for Allies’ Training! – September 18th, 6:00 pm at the Wesley Center (2520 Harris St. Eugene, OR)
This is a Know Your Rights training specifically for allies who want to be help protect and support the immigrant community. The training is focused on what the laws are around immigration and how allies can assert their rights to help protect immigrant communities.
Some of what the training will cover…
- Oregon Immigration Law
- Sanctuary Policies
- Worksite Enforcement
- Creating a plan
- Interacting with law enforcement
- What ICE agents can & can’t do and how to assert your rights
- What you can do
- We will also have a Q&A section after the presentation.
Take a moment to share these action items and events with your friends, family and lists!