Tag Archives: Dreamers

Trump Ends DACA: Will Congress Save Dreamers?


Undocumented workers and students protested at the DNC in 2012. (That’s me in the turquoise dress before the cops told me to move.)

Our country’s most ill-prepared president just lobbed one of our country’s stickiest problems into the court of the country’s least effective Congress, ever. What could go wrong? The dreams of nearly one million young people.

On Sept. 5, 2017, Attorney General and long-time anti-immigration advocate Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration’s decision to rescind President Obama’s executive order that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Implemented five years ago, DACA was supposed to be a stop-gap measure to shield children and young adults, who were brought to the US illegally as minors by their parents. The plan was that Congress would move on immigration reform while DACA protected these young people from immediate deportation.

Roughly 800,000 young adults under DACA could face deportation if Congress fails to act within the next six months. The crux of the problem is that DACA was created because Congress shirked its duty on meaningful immigration reform. For 16 years, Congress has failed to pass any immigration reform– let alone comprehensive reform, which is sorely needed. Even the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) — which outlined a path to citizenship for Dreamers– has died a bipartisan death in Congress multiple times, since it was originally proposed in 2001.

Will Congress have the guts to save the Dreamers now?

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Arizona Democratic Party Shows Its Progressive Side at State Committee Meeting

Pro-caucus424-sig-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

Progressive voices were heard loud and clear at Saturday’s Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) State Committee Meeting in Maricopa, Arizona.

Unlike some past ADP meetingswhere progressives were ignored or where progressive resolutions were tabled and not heard by the full ADP membership, the Maricopa meeting was dominated by progressives.

During the morning caucus meetings, approximately 80 members of the progressive caucus (pictured here) met in the booming high school cafeteria to hear about legalization of marijuana, the plight of Dreamers, and a host of progressive resolutions.

In the progressive caucus, members unanimously endorsed resolutions: 1) in support of a Constitutional Amendment ending Citizens United and abolishing corporate personhood; 2) in support of passage of the Inclusive Prosperity Tax (AKA Robin Hood Tax); 3) against building the Keystone XL Pipeline; and 4) in support of allowing DREAMers to have Arizona drivers’ licenses and in-state college tuition. A resolution requiring clean elections candidates to give back extra funds passed, with some dissent. In addition, with only one dissenting vote, the Progressive Caucus voted to endorse Safer Arizona, the citizens’ initiative to legalize marijuana for personal use. [Votes from the entire State Committee after the jump.]

Following candidate speeches, including a rousing address by would-be governor Fred DuVal, the full State Committee heard staff reports, caucus reports, and resolutions. During the afternoon meeting of the entire State Committee, the corporate personhood and the Robin Hood Tax resolutions easily passed the entire body. Although the Resolutions Committee recommended against consideration of the Keystone XL Pipeline resolution and the clean elections resolution on technicalities, the State Committee membership overruled the Resolutions Committee and passed the anti-Keystone Pipeline resolution easily. The clean elections resolution was tabled until the court cases have been decided and could be heard at a future meeting. An additional resolution condemning private prisons also passed with little dissent. (The DREAMer resolution was new, and therefore, not heard by the entire body on Saturday.)

In addition to the progressive votes, State Committee members enthusiastically applauded Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) activists Dan O'Neal and Barbara Njos, who were arrested in Maricopa County last week at a pro-DREAMer protest.

For long-time Arizona progressives, Saturday’s meeting was a far cry from prior years’ meetings where all progressive resolutions were stopped by the Resolutions Committee on technicalities or tabled from the floor (and allowed to die). At the January 2013 meeting of ADP, many incumbents were voted out of the party leadership.

Is the ADP turning blue?

[For additional photos from Saturday's meeting, go here.]

ACLU/Feds smack down Brewer’s drivers license stance for Dreamers

Huelgaby Pamela Powers Hannley

The ACLU is claiming that, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), young people eligible for deferred deportation are  "authorized to stay and lawfully present in the country" — not "illegal people."

Within the last year, Governor Jan Brewer had issued an executive order stating that Dreamers were not eligible to apply for Arizona drivers licenses or any state benefits because they are here "ilegally". 

According to the New Times, the DHS says:

 "An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect," the website says. "However, deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence."

Tough luck, Jan, the Feds say Dreamers can drive… even in Arizona.

For the whole story check out this article in the New Times.

Is Jan “George Wallace in a Dress” Brewer really afraid of the Dreamers? (video)

Teabags-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

Last week– thanks to an executive memo by President Obama– millions of "Dreamers" were able to apply for deferred deportation, which will allow them to legally live in the US for two years. Dreamers are young, undocumented adults who, as young children, were brought to the US illegally by their parents. Deferred deportation would allow Dreamers to come out of the shadows to live and work without fear of being sent to a country they have never known.

In true heartless form, once the Dreamers were given hope, Arizona Goveror Jan Brewer set up roadblocks by issuing her own memo. Soon after young Arizonans started lining up to apply for deferred deportation, Brewer announced that in Arizona Dreamers would not be issued drivers' licences or state-issued ID card. One of the stipulations for being able to stay in the US is a clean legal record. Her denial of drivers' licenses sets up these young people. Not being able to a car is a serious burden in Arizona because cycling in the summer is grueling and public transportation is sketchy in the big cities and non-existent in the rural areas. 

Brewer's actions quickly earned her the label of "George Wallace in a dress" because her memo clearly focused on pandering to the racists in her base and, furthermore, disregards what's best for our state– allowing Dreamers to integrate fully into American society and the workforce without fear of deportation. 

After the jump is a short video by Dennis Gillman: Gov. Brewer's Executive Order vs. Students and Teachers.