The DREAMers put Pelosi on notice

October 2, 2017

Immigrant rights activists interrupted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s September 18 press conference in San Francisco to protest her deal with Donald Trump. A week earlier, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced they had reached an agreement with Trump to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—but in return for border security measures that will victimize families and communities.

A group of youth activists organized to attend Pelosi’s press event with the plan of reading their speech that protested being used as a rationale for harsh border enforcement policies. When they began speaking via mic check, Pelosi attempted to regain command of the event with praise, telling the DREAMers, "You've had your say, and it's beautiful music to our ears." But when they refused to be silenced, she walked out.

The mainstream media did little to report on the content of the DREAMers’ message. Here is the full speech the DREAMers intended to deliver to Pelosi.

WE ARE immigrant youth, undocumented and unafraid. We are the immigrant liberation movement. As directly impacted youth, we demand to be heard. Let us speak.

We undocumented youth demand a clean bill that protects immigrant youth without hurting our families and communities. We will help bring awareness for the DREAM Act, only if it is through a lens that does not further criminalize immigrants or increase the police state and surveillance. We will not let you sell out our community in our name.

We undocumented youth demand that you not sell out our communities or our values. We undocumented youth will not be a bargaining chip for Trump's xenophobic agenda of deporting millions of people and further militarizing the border .

We undocumented youth demand your commitment in fighting for all 11 million people. Democrats created an out-of-control deportation machine and handed it over to Trump. We demand accountability. Democrats are not the resistance to Trump.

We undocumented youth demand that you hear our voices. Nothing about us, without us.

Activists interrupt Nancy Pelosi's press conference about DACA
Activists interrupt Nancy Pelosi's press conference about DACA

Congresswoman Pelosi, you called this press conference in our name, to defend the DREAM Act, but you've already traded in our parents in our name!

First, you said you supported a "clean DREAM Act," and last week, you announced that you had agreed with President Trump "to work out a package of border security"--your words. Or were you misquoted? We cannot say we are surprised.

We remember all too well how, for eight years, the Democrats laid siege to our communities, raiding and deporting nearly 3 million of our family members and loved ones. Where was your resistance for our community then, Ms. Pelosi? Did you think we would forget?

We send a clear message to our fellow undocumented youth and community. We are the resistance to Trump, not the Democrats. We extend our arms in struggle to our parents and loved ones. With you, we are prepared to struggle side by side in this fight, our fight. You have sacrificed everything for us; how can we forget?

We are not alone in this fight. Already, our brothers and sisters in the Black struggle, led courageously by Black Lives Matter, as well as our Muslim brothers and sisters, First Nations, women of color, our trans and queer community, and all the exploited workers suffering under Trump are standing up. Our united struggles can stop Trump.

We undocumented youth make clear our demands. We demand a truly clean bill with no funds for deportation enforcement. What we mean by no enforcement, therefore, is that you honor the human rights of all our people.

No increasing ICE's or border patrol's budget. No expansion of detention centers or the prison-industrial complex that fracture our communities. No scapegoating people of color who are affected by over-policing and criminalization. No increasing deportations or local programs that allow local law enforcement to facilitate them. No militarizing the border, which will destroy the lands of First Nations and sow death for our communities that are forced to leave our lands because of U.S. economic and military policies.

From this point forward, we demand transparency. We expect transparency for all conversations that happen at the local and federal level. No negotiations or back-door deals should be reached without the input and approval of your so-called constituency. We are the affected, this is our fight.

If we cannot attend meetings for strategic reasons, we expect full disclosure, and we demand that you hold firm to our positions, or we will hold you accountable. All conversations must be Black-, trans- and queer-inclusive, given that they are the most affected by deportation policies.

In the immediate term, we demand that, if you really support us, you meet with us in private to discuss how you can best support our families now.

We demand that you meet to stop the deportation of Floricel Liborio Ramos, single mother of three U.S. citizen children. She deserves to be free with her children who need her, especially her autistic child. We demand that you meet with us to stop the deportation of Hugo Mejia. And we demand that in the future you support all future cases brought by our community in its resistance to President Trump.

#somos11millon #defend11million #undocumentedunafraid #demsdeport #ILM

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