11 Undocumented Youth and Allies launch Walk to Stay Home from New York to D.C. demanding the Right to Stay Home through a Clean Dream Act
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NEW YORK, NY – On February 15, 2018; 11 undocumented youth and allies began The Walk to Stay Home, a 15-day walk from New York City’s Battery Park to Washington D.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. The 250-mile journey has been organized by the Seed Project with the support of the #OurDream Campaign to draw attention to the need for a clean Dream Act that not only grants permanent protection for undocumented youth but does not harm 11 million undocumented people living and working in the United States.
“Everyday I wake up to read the latest news reports. Reading quotes from politicians, both attacks and promises about my existence,” said Hector Jairo Martinez, a New York DACA recipient from Brooklyn. “It is time for us, undocumented youth, to once again step out of the shadows and make a simple demand, let us stay home.”
When the House passed the Jan 19th spending bill without promised Dream Act legislation, House Democrats once again failed to give their support to undocumented youth. The Walk to Stay Home is undocumented youths’ response to politicians who use “Dreamers” as talking points on the campaign trail, but back down when it is time to demonstrate real support.
The Walk to Stay Home: a Journey of Hope, is drawing attention to the undocumented struggle in the key weeks leading up the March 5th deadline, when the Trump administration has decided DACA will end. The deadline for DACA protections to end gets closer every day and Democrats show no sign of using their power to protect the undocumented youth, while Republicans draft legislation that will drive the immigrant community deeper into the shadows.
“What concerns me most is whether or not this will touch the hearts of those who haven’t decided that undocumented youth need a clean Dream Act, because that is what we need — permanent protection,” said Miriam Nunez, who came to the United States with her parents when she was six months old.
DACA recipients have the vast majority of public support for ongoing protections in the United States. This makes them popular tokens for politicians who want to demonstrate their progressivism while criminalizing the rest of the undocumented community. The walkers’ sacrifice to stand for their right to stay home underscores their dedication to loved ones who have not been offered the same protections under DACA.
“I have thought about the impact the walk will have on those who love and cherish me most, because I know that this will be a collective walk, not only with my fellow walkers, but also with the families and friends we leave behind while we embark on this journey,” said Nunez.
Along the 250 mile journey the Walkers will be stopping to meet with community members at community forums, community gatherings, marches, and rallies. The Walkers will be making a call to action for undocumented youth, the immigrant community, and allies to host speak outs, vigils, rallies, and marches in their hometowns. All along the way the walkers will asking people from around the country to join them in Washington DC to make a final push to pass a clean Dream Act to grant undocumented youth permanent protection.
The Seed Project is a campaign of Movimiento Cosecha, a nonviolent movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity and respect for all undocumented immigrants in the country.
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