Charisma Caucus

Samuel Rodriguez Calls for 60-Day Campaign to Put 'Unrelenting Pressure' on Congress for DREAMers

Protesters gather to show support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Protesters gather to show support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. (REUTERS/Kyle Grillot)

Today, in light of the White House's decision on DACA, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and its affiliate churches and organizations, announces a national campaign intent on putting "unrelenting pressure" on "every" "every" member of Congress until a permanent, legislative solution is provided for "DREAMers."

The fact that DACA is being phased out as opposed to ending abruptly, therefore giving Congress a window to provide more permanent legislative solution, is definitely the product of the work of Rev. Rodriguez and the NHCLC. They have been in the trenches on this for weeks and—for instance—delivered letters with hundreds upon hundreds of signatures to the White House. They did an effective of humanizing the issue.

"Hundreds of thousands of Hispanic young people will be overcome with fear and grief today. Simultaneously, a multiethnic coalition of tens of millions of law-abiding U.S. citizens will begin to put unrelenting pressure on members of Congress to provide a permanent solution for DREAMers, whose fate is in question by no fault of their own," said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. " For far too long in this country, Hispanic young people have been the political bargaining chips of our powerful politicians. This is an affront to the sanctity of life; it is inhumane; and the Hispanic community will stand for it no longer. Our elected members of Congress have time and again professed concern for the Hispanic community and yet have chosen to do nothing. We will not distinguish between Republicans and Democrats but between those who stand for righteousness and justice and those who do not."

Among other actions, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference will be temporarily relocating additional staff to Washington, D.C., launching a national media campaign, rallying tens of thousands of the nation's spiritual leaders, coordinating thousands of the nation's spiritual leaders, coordinating weekly meetings on Capitol Hill and in state capitols. Additionally, the NHCLC will be organizing a "fly-in" of hundreds of prominent Hispanic leaders from throughout North America for a prayer meeting on the evening of Oct. 30, followed by a series of Congressional visits on Oct. 31.

Of President Donald J. Trump's decision to phase out DACA, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez says the following:

"I am disappointed that these protections are ending and I've expressed that disappointment to the White House directly. I also understand why they chose this course of action. If the fate of DAPA is any indication, then it was only a matter of time before DACA would face a similar fate in the courts and, in fact, the entire program could be ceased immediately by a court order rather than being phased out. Thankfully, it is the job of Congress to make laws, and now the president has provided Congress a six-month window to legislate a more permanent and legally defensible solution for DREAMers. Six months is too long; we will demand action from Congress within 60 days. We do not intend on letting a single member of Congress have a good night's rest until they guarantee our young people can rest easy. We will not be silent until every DREAMer can dream again."

The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is a non-partisan organization that has long been numbered among the nation's foremost advocates for comprehensive immigration reform. It is the organization's official position that it is primarily the responsibility of Congress to address the nation's longstanding challenges with immigration policy. In that capacity, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez has worked with Democrat and Republican majorities in Congress as well as with Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump in advocating for comprehensive immigration reform.

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