Protecting Immigrant Families and DREAMers
"Vanessa's brings a unique and well-rounded approach to immigrant advocacy. From her experience working on immigration reform and homeland security as a Congressional senior staff member, to her passionate non-profit leadership helping immigrant families access quality education and health care, you can count on Vanessa to deliver for our communities. Today, as hard working immigrant families live in fear of ICE raids and being torn apart, we need to send Vanessa to Congress to fight for us and deliver results."
-Reshma Shamasunder, Long-Time Immigrant Rights Activist and Former Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center
I am the daughter of immigrants who came to this country in the 1960s to seek a better life. My mother and her sisters were legal permanent residents who only became citizens when they feared for their ability to stay in this country after the Department of Homeland Security was established.
So many immigrant families live in fear of being torn apart. Those who qualified under the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as DREAMers, and registered under President Obama’s policy are now targets for the current administration. Fears are rising of expanded Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids to places where we all congregate—stores, schools, worksites, neighborhoods.
ICE has admitted to members of the Hispanic Congressional Congress that they have expanded deportation efforts, from solely targeting dangerous criminals to any immigrants who do not have legal status. The stories we are hearing are alarming. Mothers with American citizen children have been deported. Students qualifying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program status seized in raids and many more DACA students not even applying for financial aid based on fear of being seized, detained and deported.
I am encouraged by the response of the masses of people who have taken to the streets and our airports to protest the unconstitutional travel bans and deportations. We must find a way to channel this anger and frustration to make an impacting long-term change.
I will be unwavering in my support of all efforts to protect immigrant families, children and students from ICE raids on our community. I will stand with the State of California and our Sanctuary Cities to protect our families. I will stand with our communities as we use the courts to stop these raids. And I will stand with the many businesses who rely on immigrant labor to provide goods and services and expand our economy.