Orange County, CA—President Obama’s announcement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on June 15, 2012, was a step forward in the right direction, but it is not a permanent solution. The Orange County Dream Team (OCDT) is gearing up to put on its 3rd free DACA clinic** to keep assisting those who qualify for the program. Although it is a positive change, DACA only helps a fraction of our community and immigrant youth have not forgotten about their parents, siblings and the rest of the community who were not able to benefit.
“We refuse to sit in complacency. Social Security numbers and work permits are not enough. We demand permanent immigration reform for our families,” said Deisy Hernandez, Orange County Dream Team member.
There is no doubt that the Latino vote helped to re-elect President Obama. DACA was at risk under a Romney administration and Latinos came out to ensure that the administration that introduced DACA was kept in office. We now ask that our President live up to the countless promises of permanent immigration relief. Our families have lived for years with the constant fear of deportation with no remedy in sight. There are little to no paths towards citizenship for many and little has changed over several decades. There is no better time than now to change this anti-immigrant environment.
We also urge President Obama to end inhumane enforcement programs like Secure Communities, which serve to instill fear and distrust of the law enforcement agencies that are meant to protect us. There is something very wrong with our system when a victim of domestic abuse ends up in deportation proceedings after reporting an abuser.
During President Obama’s second term, we want to see our community treated with dignity and respect. Permanent immigration reform is what we are looking for in the next four years.
The Orange County Dream Team will continue its efforts to help not just DREAMers, but also our families and immigrant communities of all nationalities.
**Free Deferred Action Clinic: November 10th 1pm to 5pm. At Western State University College of Law 1111 North State College Blvd, Fullerton CA 92831. Open to the public. No appointment necessary.