Undocumented youth on jail hunger strike in D.C. demand Congress pass ‘clean DREAM Act now!’

By Marisol Marquez and Brad Sigal |
December 21, 2017
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Washington D.C. – On Dec. 15, seven undocumented immigrant youth, now referred to as the #Dream7, risked deportation by staging a sit-in outside of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office in the Capitol building, as part of a wave of protests demanding that Congress pass a clean Dream Act now.

They were arrested and sent to the D.C. jail, where they continue to stage a hunger strike. Among those striking are prominent leaders in the movement for justice for undocumented immigrants, including Belén Sisa, Erika Andiola and others.

Support for the #Dream7 is growing on social media. They are demanding that congress vote before the end of the year on a clean DREAM Act. A clean Dream Act refers to legislation that would give protection from deportation and a path to legal permanent residency and/or citizenship to undocumented youth who were enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that President Trump cruelly ended in September, leaving over 800,000 immigrant youths at risk of deportation. The “clean” part of it means that legal status for DACA recipients should not be paired with anything that would harm other immigrants, such as increased militarization of the border or increased raids and arrests of immigrants in the workplace or community.

Sisa’s mother Isa O’Neal says, “What my daughter and the others are doing is part of the struggle! It's our duty to fight for our freedom, it's our duty to win!”

The Legalization for All (L4A) Network, a national network of grassroots immigrant rights organizations around the U.S., supports the struggle for a clean DREAM Act. The network also encourages organizers to continue to fight against any and all deportations regardless of what congress does.

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