While Congressional Republicans were busy patting themselves on the back at the White House for passing one of the most odious pieces of legislation in recent memory, hundreds of immigration activists were busy rallying just down the street to demand that lawmakers move ahead with a clean DREAM act immediately.
Dubbed “The DC Takeover” by immigration activist group United We Dream, protesters in orange hats and shirts massed outside the U.S. Capital, calling for congress to pass legislation that protects and provides a path to citizenship for the thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
In addition to rallying outside, a press release from UWD claimed more than 1,000 protesters had packed the halls of Congress itself, locking arms and laying down to draw attention to their cause. The mass-sit ins cap a week of direct action by immigrant activists, during which multiple lawmakers saw their offices occupied by protesters demanding action on immigration legislation before congress left for winter break.
In a statement, UWD membership director Adrian Reyna placed the onus of action squarely on Democratic lawmakers.
The question for Democrats is whether they are an opposition force to the white supremacist agenda of if they are enablers. The Democratic party stands at a moral crossroads – if they vote for a year-end spending bill without the Dream Act they will be voting to deport immigrant youth.
The top Democrats – Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi committed to using their leverage to protect immigrant youth and they are now waffling. We can’t wait for the Dream Act because immigrant youth are being taken to detention camps now, 850 of us are losing protections every week and millions of us are in danger.
Congress has thus far punted on any sort of meaningful immigration action, despite assurances from Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer’s that they were working with the White House following President Trump’s decision to repeal the DACA program.