OC DREAMers to Loretta Sanchez: Tell Obama "Not One More Deportation!" UPDATE
See the latest updates at the bottom of the post on the release of arrested OC DREAMers.
"OC DREAMers want me to say what???"
ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 7, 6:03 A.M.: Saturday marked a national day of action against President Barack Obama's raging deportation mill, with rallies under the banners of "Not 1 More" and "2 Million 2 Many." The Orange County DREAM Team's (OCDT) actions included freeway banner drops and a press conference at the Garden Grove office of Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
Last month, DREAMers began asking Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) members to call out the Deporter-in-Chief on his administration's record-breaking deportations. Some did just that.
The Weekly wondered aloud if Sanchez would follow suit. Predictably, she didn't.
The OCDT delivered a letter to the congresswoman on Saturday asking her to jump on board, but it wasn't the first time they've done so. As the letter reads...
Last summer, during the earlier days of this campaign, Orange County Dream Team asked you to join us in calling for a stop to the deportations and expansion of Deferred Action. We did so during meetings with your District Director Gaston Castellanos, and when we spoke at Tefere Gebre's going away dinner. At the time you declined to support us, but that can be rectified.
Orange County DREAM Team
The two-time dismissal didn't stop OCDT from issuing its three demands to the congressman that she publicly come out asking for President Obama to halt deportations, expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy for all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and ask that other CHC members join the chorus.
Joining OCDT in its "Best Regards" sign off are the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance and the National Queer and Transgender Latino Alliance.
Pro-immigrant activists ended the day's actions in San Juan Capistrano with a candlelight vigil. La migra hit South OC city with raids late last month that ended in the detention of Victoria Delgado Arteaga and her cousin Oscar Simbras. RAIZ and community members rallied around Delgado, who has no criminal record but does have six children and 11 grandchildren, until her release last Monday. Immigration authorities deported her cousin that same day.
Will Congresswoman Sanchez be swayed by such stories of family breakups and take a DACA for all stance? "As a member of both the Homeland Security Committee and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Ms. Sanchez' voice carries weight and will go a long way toward pressuring the President to change course and stop the deportations," said OCDT's Amy Yu. The grassroots group followed up last weekend's actions and sent members to Washington D.C. today as part of a coalition rally continuing to put pressure Sanchez and Congressman Xavier Becerra. The social media strategy includes the hashtag #SanchezDeports and congressional office sit-ins are currently taking place!
An article in yesterday's edition of the New York Times noted that since Obama took office, two-thirds of the nearly two million deportations affected those with no criminal records or minor infractions at best.
Maybe the congresswomen can heed the call of immigrant rights activists before Obama himself comes to Anaheim in June to deliver UC Irvine's 50th anniversary commencement speech at Angel Stadium.
FIRST UPDATE, APRIL 7, 11:54 A.M.: Three OC DREAMers who staged a sit-in at the D.C. office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez earlier today have been arrested. Luis Ramirez, Dulce Saavedra, and Jonathan Bibriesca wanted to ratchet up the pressure on the lawmaker on the issue of President Obama's deportations and prepared statements prior to risking arrest.
"I'm here to demand that Loretta Sanchez pushes President Obama to stop deportations and bring relief by expanding Deferred Action," Ramirez said. "This is crucial especially for LGBTQ community members placed in detention who often times have extra needs such as hormone therapy and HIV medication."