SAALT Responds to Government Shutdown, Demands DREAM Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On Fri­day night, due to the President’s cal­lous deci­sion to ter­mi­nate DACA in Sep­tem­ber and the ongo­ing inabil­i­ty of Con­gress to do its job and pass a clean DREAM Act, the gov­ern­ment shut­down.

In response, Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), released the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“America’s laws should reflect our core val­ues of fair­ness, equal­i­ty, and free­dom. Yet the tox­ic anti-immi­grant rhetoric and poli­cies of this admin­is­tra­tion con­tin­ue to fly in the face of our nation’s val­ues and led to today’s gov­ern­ment shut­down.

Since the Pres­i­dent decid­ed to ter­mi­nate DACA in Sep­tem­ber, over 800,000 DREAM­ers have lived in com­plete uncer­tain­ty. More than 15,000 DREAM­ers have already lost their sta­tus and face the dai­ly threat of depor­ta­tion. The U.S. is home to 450,000 undoc­u­ment­ed Indi­ans, in addi­tion to at least 23,000 Indi­ans and Pak­istani DREAM­ers. The absence of a DREAM Act puts all their lives at risk.

Month after month, Con­gress refus­es to do the will of the peo­ple, despite over­whelm­ing bipar­ti­san vot­er sup­port for DACA and the DREAM Act. The Pres­i­dent and his allies have stained nego­ti­a­tions with the most vul­gar and insult­ing lan­guage imag­in­able, reveal­ing exact­ly what this admin­is­tra­tion thinks of immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties. By what alche­my does this make Amer­i­ca great?

A gov­ern­ment shut­down hurts every­one, from gov­ern­ment employ­ees to the hun­dreds of thou­sands of DREAM­ers who still face the threat of depor­ta­tion from the only coun­try they’ve ever called home.

DREAM­ers are not bar­gain­ing chips. To play polit­i­cal pin­ball with their lives does not reflect the core val­ues of our nation. We need Con­gress to pro­tect immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties, and to do their job to ensure dig­ni­ty and full inclu­sion for all Amer­i­cans. This is the will of the peo­ple. Con­gress must do its job once and for all and pass a clean DREAM Act. There’s no time to lose.”

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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