There’s no time to lose. Force Congress to protect DREAMers now!

Dear Friend,

Despite a temporary government shut down, Congress still hasn’t passed legislation to protect 800,000 DREAMers who are at risk of deportation from the only country they’ve ever known. The next vote on their futures is this Thursday, February 8.

The Trump administration has cynically tied any ‘deal’ to protect DREAMers directly with militarizing our southern border, ending the diversity visa lottery, and making massive cuts to family-based immigration. This ‘deal’ is a non-starter.

Rather than passing already-introduced, bipartisan legislation called the DREAM Act [S. 1615/H.R. 3440], which would protect immigrant youth without tearing apart families and building a border wall, Congress keeps introducing new legislation that insists upon including harm in its approach and impact. The latest, the USA Act, provides a pathway to citizenship for millions of people who came to the U.S. before age 18. Yet it also includes harmful provisions to increase deportations and further militarize our borders.

Now is the time to pass the DREAM Act once and for all.

Thousands of DREAMers, including SAALT allies Chirayu Patel and Ruchir, have traveled to Washington, D.C. since President Trump heartlessly terminated DACA in September 2017 without legislation to undo the harm caused by ending this crucial program. Since last fall, DREAMers have courageously shared their stories and have declared they DO NOT support any ‘deal’ that uses them as political bargaining chips while putting other immigrants in harm’s way. Despite misguided efforts to pit immigrants against each other, an overwhelming majority of Americans support legislation that protects DREAMers with a path to citizenship that does not increase border enforcement.
Continuing to shirk its responsibility to reflect the public’s needs and priorities, Congress keeps kicking the can down the road as hundreds of thousands of immigrants’ lives continue to hang in the balance, including over 23,000 Indian and Pakistani DREAMers. Since September, over 120 DREAMers lose their status every day, facing the threat of deportation.

Congress must do its job and protect DREAMers on February 8!

Your voice matters! Here’s what you can do today to force Congress to protect DREAMers:

  1. Dial 1-888-778-6856 and wait for the “Welcome” message
  2. Enter your zip code
  3. Connect to your Member of Congress and force them to protect DREAMers now by passing S. 1615/H.R. 3440!

See below for a sample script!

Hi, my name is ____________ and I live in ___________ (city in district). I’m calling to urge Representative/Senator ____________ to support legislation on February 8 that protects DREAMers without provisions to increase deportations or militarize our borders. DREAMers are not bargaining chips. Over 120 DREAMers lose their DACA status every day and thousands of families will be at risk of being torn apart unless Congress does its job on February 8 to protect DREAMers without harming immigrant communities in the process. The best legislative solution is the existing DREAM Act and I urge you support that bill. Thank you for your time.  

Also, today, February 7, join hundreds of progressive allies in Washington D.C. for the National Day of Action to demand a DREAM Act.

DAY OF ACTION DETAILS

What: National Day of Action for the Dream Act
When: Wednesday, Feb. 7th starting at 12:00pm EST
Where: Starting at Trump International Hotel, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004, and marching to the halls of Congress.
Who: Immigrant youth, United We Dream, Center for Popular Democracy, SEIU, The Women’s March, FIRM/Center for Community Change, Good Jobs Nation, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Church World Service and more!

More infohttps://www.facebook.com/events/877004879138672/

It’s time for our leaders to put politics aside and do their jobs and the will of the people. Congress must protect immigrant communities. Make your voice heard. There’s no time to lose.

In partnership,
The SAALT Team

 

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South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit organization that fights for racial justice and advocates for the civil rights of all South Asians in the United States. Our ultimate vision is dignity and full inclusion for all.

CONTACT: Vivek Trivedi – vivek@saalt.org

Report | Communities on Fire: Confronting Hate Violence and Xenophobic Political Rhetoric

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab communities are the target of increasing levels of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric in the United States, with record attacks since the election of President Trump in November, 2016, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) said in a report released today. The uptick in anti-Muslim attacks runs parallel to the surge in this administration’s anti-Muslim policies and rhetoric.

The report, Communities on Fire,” documents hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at our communities from Election Day 2016 to Election Day 2017. SAALT documented 302 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab communities in the United States, of which an astounding 82% were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment. The 302 incidents are a more than 45% increase from the year leading up to the 2016 election cycle, levels not seen since the year after September 11.

SAALT’s report draws a direct line between this administration’s anti-Muslim agenda and increasing attacks, revealing that of the 213 incidents of hate violence documented, one in five perpetrators invoked President Trump’s name, his administration’s policies, or his campaign slogans during attacks.

“Our nation prides itself on the freedom for people of all religious traditions to practice their faith without fear or intimidation,” said Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. “However, through its policies and rhetoric, this administration’s incessant demonization of Islam has created an environment of hate and fear-mongering for Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. Deadly shootings, torched mosques, vandalized homes and businesses, and young people harassed at school have animated an acutely violent post-election year. This administration must break eye contact with white supremacy if our nation is to live up to its highest ideals of religious freedom.”

The report also underlines the way intersectionality informs hate – both the identities of victims targeted and the systems that criminalize our communities. Women who identify or are perceived as South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, or Arab were the targets of attack in 28% of the 213 documented hate incidents post-election. Women who wear hijab or head scarves are particularly vulnerable, accounting for 63% of the documented hate incidents targeting women. The report discusses the intersection of immigration, racial profiling and surveillance, and criminal justice policies that compound against our communities.

“The growth of white supremacist hate groups and mounting attacks on our communities are proof positive that this administration’s anti-Muslim agenda is not making America great, it’s making Americans afraid,” Raghunathan said. “The daily decay of our democracy can only be repaired by dignity and full inclusion for all Americans, regardless of faith, race, or national origin. SAALT and our allies are going to go the distance to see this demand realized.”

CONTACT: Vivek Trivedi – vivek@saalt.org