Commentary: Albuquerque, NM – Ahead of an announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from the Trump administration , Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) stood side-by-side with DACA recipients with United We Dream Action at a press conference emphasizing the importance the program to build strong families and communities.
DACA protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children from deportation and allows them to work in the United States.
During the press conference N.M. Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero said, “We believe in keeping families united and rescinding DACA would only tear families apart.”
N.M. Representative and DPNM Hispanic Caucus Co-Chair Roybal Caballero went on to clarify what the DACA program does, “Let there be no misunderstanding, DACA is a program that gives temporary relief for young people from deportation and the ability to work in the United States—DACA is not a pathway to citizenship, DACA does not guarantee federal benefits for youth. DACA is a program created from a movement of young people fighting for a better future whose only home they know is our country,” she said.
Jazmin and Yazmin Irazoqui Ruiz, two sisters who have DACA status and attend medical school and law school, respectively, shared their stories.
“We are a productive part of this community…this is our home. I have been here since I was three years old and we have found a home in Albuquerque, New Mexico,” said Yazmin Irazouqi Ruiz.
Currently, 6,815 New Mexicans are DACA recipients and 8,000 young people are eligible in the state. Many of those young people serve in the military, are working toward advanced degrees, and holding employment. A fact sheet on DACA is available here.
The press conference continued to emphasize the effect ending DACA would have on our communities, “We have a reality right now—our families are facing fear, our communities are facing fear, our DACA recipients are facing fear. To those serving in elected office, it is time to stand up for your constituents,” said Cindy Nava, DREAMER and immigrant activist.
“Republicans have fielded a candidate for governor who clearly and outspokenly does not support DACA,” said NM Representative Javier Martinez. “It’s time for Republicans like Governor Martinez and Steve Pearce to decide which side of history they will be on: are they going to support 800,000 young people who want a live of dignity and respect life and to contribute to our economy or are they going to side with Donald Trump’s decisive rhetoric? Keep in mind there’s no sound policy reason to rescind DACA.”
U.S. Senator Udall’s State Director Greg Bloom ended the press conference with a statement of Democratic values to keep families together and value our state’s diversity. The full message is available here.