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On November 12, 2019 hundreds of people from all walks of life found themselves together before the Supreme Court in Washington DC. Supporting each other, sharing stories, and giving empowering and moving speeches. On this day, people gathered together to fight for something they believed in- the rights of hundreds of thousands of immigrants that are in the United States under the program known as DACA. DACA, formally known as the Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals, is a program put in place by Barack Obama in 2014.
In Dec of 2017 under the Trump Administration, DACA was rescinded, making the future of the roughly 700,000 current DACA recipients uncertain. This decision
There is no doubt that rescinding DACA without an alternative solution would affect millions of people, not only for the roughly 700,000 individuals that are enrolled in the program, but their families as well.
However, when it came to opinions revolving DACA and other issues in the immigration community, interesting dynamics began to surface. The most important one being that this rally was not only meant for DACA, this was a protest for human rights and a demand for complete immigration reform.
The reality is that the threats faced in the immigration community are more complex than only DACA, which was frequently apparent during interviews at the DACA rally. These bigger threats involve the lives of roughly 11 million people, the amount of the current undocumented population. These people would be placed at risk if the focus was to remain on securing a solution for only DACA recipients, instead of prioritizing efforts to receive a complete solution that protected the entire undocumented immigrant community.
In this episode we dive into a crash course of the history of American immigration and the principle elements that laid the foundation for today’s immigration system. In addition we go behind the scenes and into the crowd of protesters that attended the DACA rally on Nov 12, to hear first hand their thoughts on the current uncertainty with the DACA program.
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In today’s episode I sit down with Jose Arnulfo Cabrera to share his story of being a young DREAMer in America and one of the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently awaiting the decision being made on the DACA program that will determine the path of their immediate future. Jose has been involved in advocacy for human rights since he was a child, and has been tremendously involved in women’s rights and immigration reform efforts organizing and leading groups to create awareness and take a stand for their rights.
José Arnulfo Cabrera was born in a small village in Mexico and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up, Cabrera remembers his mom organizing undocumented workers in Cincinnati for a just wage and safe working conditions. During this time, he learned organizing tricks and skills to keep people engaged and hopeful during disappointing moments. It wasn’t long until Cabrera started organizing for immigration reform issues, sharing his family’s story and how he would benefit from legislation like the DREAM Act. After high school, Cabrera, a DACA recipient, studied at Xavier University, while at the same time working at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) in Cincinnati where he started a group called Youth Educating Society (YES). Through his work at IJPC and YES he became an advocate for DACA recipients across Cincinnati, particularly at Xavier, by training and working with staff members on making Xavier a DACA friendly campus. In 2017 Cabrera attended his first ISN program, the Ignatian Justice Summit on Immigration, where Cabrera fell in love with ISN’s mission. He spoke at the Advocacy Day Public Witness during the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in 2017 and the 2018 Ignatian Justice Summit, and has contributed to ISN’s online content. After graduation, Cabrera served as a government relations associate at NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice in Washington, D.C. where he enhanced his understanding and knowledge of furthering pro-immigrant policy.
In this interview Jose shares with us what it is like living in America as an immigrant, and gives us incredible insight on the issues in the current immigration system in the United States and how immigration has become “over-politicized”. This interview exposes some very interesting points that will no doubt provide a lot of insight and understanding regarding America’s perception and handling of immigration.
Covered in this Episode:
- The general public doesn’t understand why we have a broken immigration system.
- Many myths about immigrants and our immigration system that are untrue.
- The effects the current Immigration system is having on the next generation of contributors to society- first generation Americans.
- People – throughout history – have always disliked immigrants.
- Lack of understanding of the root cause of forced migration.
- How Immigration has been over-politicized.
- Trump’s role in influencing presidential candidates use fear-mongering immigrants as good campaign tactics.
- Exposing how policies of immigration enforcement has brought fear and trauma to the immigrant communities.
- Why education on immigration policies and reform is important.
- How to get involved to reform our Immigration System.
How You Can Get Involved:
- Get Educated on Current Immigration Policies and Statistics.
- Be aware of what your elected officials are doing to try and solve our immigration system at city and state levels. Not only Federal. The policies that your city council and state legislators implement have a significant effect on undocumented immigrants.
- Advocate. Tell your elected officials what Bills and policies you support and which you do not by sending them letters, emails or visiting them at their designated offices.
- Get involved! Find a local organization that is educating and advocating to reform the current immigration system and seeking to find volunteers to help immigrants in the area.
Jose Cabrera and his Organization, Ignation Solidarity Network, are fighting to get the Dream Act of 2019 voted on so that hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients and their families can get a chance for a pathway to citizenship.
You can help! By following this Link and submitting the prepared letter to your Senator you will be standing in support of passing this Bill which could help so many deserving children and families win a chance for a better future.
TAKE ACTION NOW. The Supreme Court Begins Voting on NOVEMBER 12, 2019!