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Environmental Coalition Stands with Dreamers at Greens for a Clean Dream Act Visual Demonstration

Dec 18, 2017

Betsy Lopez-Wagner, blopez-wagner@lcv.org, 708-717-9408

ICYMI – Here is news out of Washington, DC, where the environmental community and dreamers came together for a powerful evening of support for a Clean Dream Act. More than 50 people attended and a dozen worked to share information with the area’s foot traffic about the fight to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A broad coalition of environmental, conservation and progressive groups including GreenLatinos, LCV’s Chispa, Sierra Club, LULAC, Moms Clean Air Force, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, EDF Action and others in coordination with United We Dream, launched a large-scale visual display onto the Frank D. Reeves Center of Municipal Affairs building in support for Dreamers and the passage of a Clean Dream Act.

The display, projected onto the 2000 14th St NW building, was live for two hours Friday night while supporters rallied nearby.

Below are quotes from the organizations who supported this effort

“Millions of young undocumented immigrants like me are being targeted for the detention camps and deportation, but would be protected by the Dream Act. I want everyone to see our faces and know our determination to survive and thrive. We are grateful that environmental, conservation and progressive groups helped amplify our stories and that they are standing with us in this fight. We need the Dream Act this year because 850 young people are losing protections every week,” said Bruna Bouhid, communications manager for United We Dream.

“This coalition fundamentally believes the defense and protection of all communities and ecosystems is crucial to upholding principles of justice and equity in our work,” said Mark Magaña, president of GreenLatinos, a national network of Latino environmental and conservation advocates. “We are committed to fighting for healthy and safe communities where we are all able to thrive, regardless of immigration status and without fear of retaliation or deportation. Dreamers represent the best values of this country and we stand in solidarity with their fight to stay in this country we call home.”  

“We urge Congress to pass a Clean Dream Act immediately and stop forcing young people to live in fear. A generation of young people who are invested in this country’s future and know no other home deserve to have the safety, stability and legal means to fully participate and contribute to their communities and our nation,” said Jennifer Allen, League of Conservation Voters’ senior vice president of Community & Civic Engagement, Chispa.

“We at Earthjustice stand in solidarity with the Dreamers, our partners in the Latino and civil rights communities and all Americans who are united in supporting the passage of a clean DREAM Act. DREAMers were brought to America as children and share the same aspirations and goals as any other American: to live, work, and prosper in the country that they call home. They too fight for their right to protect our health and environment and we fight with them to protect their right to speak up and live without fear,” said Raul E. Garcia, Legislative Counsel for Earthjustice.

“LULAC continues to push for a clean Dream Act; Dreamers are hardworking young Americans who have contributed to the country’s economy and cultural identity. It is time for Congress and the Trump administration to show political courage and pass a clean DREAM Act that would protect 800,000 productive members of our society from deportation,” said Brent Wilkes, CEO of LULAC.

“DREAMERS embody the American Dream. We must commit to protecting them so that they can achieve their full potential as individuals, professionals, and members of our society. We call members of Congress to do what is morally right and provide these young people an opportunity to stay in the only country they know as home and achieve their dreams,” said Adrianna Quintero, executive director of VOCES.

“Congress must pass a clean Dream Act and not include any funding for a wall or destructive infrastructure at the border. Dreamers and young immigrants must not be used as bargaining chips for Trump’s cruel anti-immigrant agenda and racist border wall,” said Michael Brune, CEO of Sierra Club.

“The Dreamers are our children and our family. As such, they are NOT foreigners. Therefore, we demand and expect that we not be separated due to a political technicality,” said Rudy Arredondo, president of the National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association. 

“Dreamers are students, teachers, first responders, veterans, nurses, and so much more. They are a vital part of our families, communities, and economies. We all have a responsibility to speak out on their behalf. Congress must take decisive action NOW to prevent them from being fired from jobs, ripped out of classrooms, and separated from their families” said Laura M. Esquivel, director of National Advocacy at the Hispanic Federation.

“Stewardship is the foundation for sustainability and stewardship of the least empowered among us is our collective responsibility. We will stand with and support those who may need their voice amplified for the net outcome of promoting a global society that understands the interconnectedness of the planet with a foundation in social justice, environmental justice and economic equity. We are Sustainable Practices and our mission is the promotion of a culture of sustainability,” said Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan, executive director of Sustainable Practices.

“It’s unconscionable that politicians are willing to put the fates of nearly 700,000 fellow Americans in danger by letting DACA expire. DREAMers contribute so much to this country and the environmental movement. We are proud to join with other environmental and conservation groups in demanding a Clean Dream Act that would protect DREAMers and deny funding for the US-Mexico border wall. Our country, and its citizens, deserve better than this,” said Fern Shepard of Rachel’s Network.

“‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ is still just as true today as it was when the Statute of Liberty was gifted to us. We are a country of mostly immigrants who, by those who chose to come here, did so in search of a better way of life. What have we come to if we close our doors to those seeking the same?” said Mary Gutierrez, executive director of Earth Ethics, Inc.

“Passing a clean DREAM Act is not only an issue that has the support of a majority of Americans, but gives us an opportunity to achieve a common-sense bipartisan bill that will protect more than 800,000 individuals that were brought to this country as children. DREAMers represent the best of our country: hard work, diversity, entrepreneurship, and much more. We urge members of Congress to do what is right and give DREAMers the opportunity to continue to pursue and achieve the American Dream,” said Joe Bonfiglio, president of Environmental Defense Fund Action.

On Thursday, December 14, GreenLatinos and more than 80 progressive organizations also called on members of Congress to pass a Clean Dream Act. See the letter and list of organizations, here.   

Additional photos available upon request.