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“Keep Our Families Together”: Thousands Call on Congress to Extend TPS & Pass a “Clean DREAM Act”

Web ExclusiveDecember 08, 2017
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Thousands rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday, calling for Congress to stop its rollback of temporary protected status for thousands of Haitians and Nicaraguans and to pass the DREAM Act before the end of the year. We speak with Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and also the strategy and partnership director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, whose members were among the thousands rallying at the Capitol and in cities around the country this week. We are also joined by Mily Treviño-Sauceda, co-founder and vice president of the National Alliance of Women Farmworkers. She is a former farmworker and union organizer with the United Farm Workers.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, thousands rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday, calling for Congress to stop its rollback of temporary protected status for thousands of Haitians and Nicaraguans and to pass the DREAM Act before the end of the year.

AMY GOODMAN: Alicia Garza continues with us, from Berkeley, California, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, also with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, whose members were among thousands rallying at the Capitol and cities, as well, around the country this week.

Alicia, can you talk about what the demands are?

ALICIA GARZA: I think what people are really trying to do right now is to keep our families together and to keep undocumented immigrants from further being criminalized. Our workers were out there yesterday because our families are being separated. Our workers were out there yesterday because our very humanity is being questioned.

And so, what I am seeing is that folks are saying they want a clean DREAM Act, meaning they don’t want additional provisions that further militarize the border, they don’t want further provisions that continue to criminalize the folks that are the very engine of this country, and they don’t want to trade criminalization and militarization for the promise of citizenship. What folks are saying is, “We deserve”—right?—”to live in our full dignity and humanity. And we don’t need to attach guns, police or Border Patrol to that in order to access that.”

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask, as well, Mily Treviño-Sauceda about what comprehensive immigration reform would mean for the farmworkers in the fields.

MILY TREVIÑO-SAUCEDA: It would mean that thousands and thousands of women and men and their families are going to be coming out of the shadows. It would mean that there would be less threats against our people, especially women that sexually harassed and assaulted and raped, that they are not going to be threatened anymore to—if anything is happening to them or they’re abusing them, that they’re not going to be treated the same way. Comprehensive immigration reform will keep the family together, will provide at least a good and safer environment for our community. That’s one of the—you know, that’s one of the worst threats that women face when they’re being abused, as workers, as women, and as mothers, as wives. So, that’s what’s going to change.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank Alicia Garza of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Mily Treviño-Sauceda of the National Alliance of Women Farmworkers. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

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