Since we left Miami, our calls to end the deportations and family separations have been heard at the highest levels of government, but the reality on the ground for millions of immigrants has not changed.
Last week, we met for a second time with President Barack Obama’s senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, to ask the administration to pass an executive order halting the deportations of DREAM Act students and families of US citizens. Sadly, the administration again refused to deliver a sensible first step towards a more just immigration system.
So we are taking our journey in a new direction, and we need you to come with us. Thanks to the tireless work of our fellow student activists, an important piece of legislation -- The DREAM Act -- has gained newfound traction. This bill would provide a path to citizenship for the thousands of young people like us, who were brought to the U.S. as children and know no other country as home. We are going to need your help to make DREAM a reality.
At the same time, there is a growing movement to end the 287(g) program. It's the policy that has empowered officials like Phoenix's Sheriff Arpaio to enforce federal immigration laws, leading to rampant racial profiling and the deportation of thousands of hardworking immigrants. 287(g) has been a nightmare for so many communities, which is why we will be traveling to some of the 71 cities and towns where it is in effect, just like we did in Phoenix on June 1, when we confronted Sheriff Joe Arpaio in his office.
As this next phase of our journey begins, we are going to need thousands of more people to join with us. Please click below to see a video of what we told Sheriff Arpaio, and then invite your friends and family to join the Trail.
In every step we have taken on this journey, we have tried to be strong. But as we sat across from Valerie Jarrett and relayed the pain and terror that people are living under in Arizona and across the country, we couldn't suppress the tears.
We told Mrs. Jarrett about our friend Lesli from South Florida, who was picked up by border patrol in a train station on her way to school. After we were able to finally achieve her release from detention, her whole family was issued orders of removal in retaliation for our activism. Are these the "criminals" that the administration is supposedly pursuing?
There is a timely opportunity now to begin the process of repairing our failed system, starting with the DREAM Act, which has widespread bipartisan support. It's also high time that the President begin showing the leadership we elected him to provide. With just a stroke of the pen, he could end the 287(g) program, which the Department of Justice's own Inspector General has essentially deemed a failure.
We are continuing our journey, and we promise not to stop until we reach our goals. Please watch our meeting with Sheriff Arpaio, and then ask your friends and family to join us.
Thank you and Adelante,
Felipe, Gaby, Juan, Carlos, and the rest of the Trail of Dreams team
The Trail of Dreams is made possible by the generosity of people like you. Please consider making a donation to support our ongoing journey.