FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2017
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19 DREAM Advocates Arrested in front of Speaker Ryan’s Office
Front Left to Right: Monica Thammarath (APALA/NEA), Marita Etcubanez (AAJC), Becky Belcore (NAKASEC)
Washington, DC – Today, 19 Asian American peaceful protesters were arrested outside of Speaker Ryan’s office demanding that Congress pass a clean DREAM Act before December 8. Protesters blocked the entrance of Speaker Ryan’s office and chanted that the House Leader call a vote to pass a clean DREAM Act.
The individuals below released the following statements in response to their arrest and detention:
Monica Thammarath, APALA National President and one of the peaceful protesters, stated: “We are ready to put our bodies on the line — that’s what this was all about. Millions of undocumented working families live in fear of detention and deportation every single day. The Trump administration continues to stoke fear into our immigrant and refugee communities, and today and every day until white supremacists are out of office, we will protect and defend our family, friends, and communities from hate violence, racism, and xenophobia.”
“It’s time to stop using the lives of immigrant youth as a bargaining chip in a cruel game of immigration politics,” said John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “These fearless protesters represent a much larger and determined Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) population standing with and in support of getting the DREAM Act passed through Congress now.”
“I am participating in this civil disobedience for the 22,000 DACA recipients who cannot,” added Inhe Choi, Board Member of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and Executive Director of the HANA Center, an affiliate of NAKASEC. “Over 8,000 young people have lost DACA since September 5 and hundreds lose protection each week Congress does not pass legislation to protect them. We must pass a #cleanDREAMact NOW!”
The action was coordinated as part of the AAPI Immigrant Organizing Table’s Days of Mobilization to demand Congress pass a clean DREAM Act.