Immigration advocates are seeking to obtain amnesty for 12 million illegal immigrants, according to a co-founder of the United We Dream group, rather than the much smaller number who have been authorized temporary residence under the DACA policy started by the Obama administration. The advocacy group claims to represent illegal aliens who were brought to the United States as minors by their parents. It is “advocating for Congress to really get to a breakthrough on this issue and provide a solution that will protect people like my brother and millions like him,” according to the group’s co-founder, Cristina Jimenez.

Jimenez was interviewed by NPR about the March 5 deadline set by President Donald Trump for the expiry of the work authorization and temporary residence permits for the the 680,000 recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Last month, President Donald Trump suggested that that if Congress appropriates sufficient funding for border wall, he may allow more than 3.25 million currently illegal immigrants to seek permanent residence and a path to citizenship. Sometimes known as Dreamers by the media and supporters, UWD’s demand for a general amnesty contradicts previous reports that it was advocating only for DACA recipients and Dreamers.

On NPR’s “Morning Edition,” show host David Greene interviewed Jimenez about the looming March 5 date, when approximately 1,000 DACA recipients lose their work authorization each day. However, the various lawsuits against President Trump’s decision, it is likely that the March 5 deadline will pass without any significant impact on DACA beneficiaries, such as deportations. Greene asked Jimenez about her family during the interview, who said that her brother, Jonathan came to the U.S. in 1998 and grew up in New York City. Jimenez said, “And my parents are undocumented, and he’s protected by DACA.”

Jimenez continued, “On September 5, when President Trump decided to terminate the program, he put my brother’s life and thousands of young people like him at the risk of deportation.” She said, “So the anxiety and the fear that my brother and others live with is very real.” “This is why we had been advocating for Congress to really get to a breakthrough on this issue and provide a solution that will protect people like my brother and millions like him,” Jimenez said. “And, unfortunately, what we have seen is a game with the lives of young people when President Trump, who terminated the program himself and also committed to working on a solution, has now killed almost every bipartisan proposal that has come forward.”

Operated by veteran leftist organizer Louise Weissman, United We Dream was created jointly by the SEIU labor organization and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty law firm in 2008. UWD has rejected President Trump’s 2018 immigration proposal as a “white supremacist ransom note.”

UWD has gotten support from staples of the Democratic Party, including Planned Parenthood, which receives approximately $500 million in federal subsidies annually. In addition, UWD has vowed to participate in a coming rally in Washington DC and elsewhere in the country to pressure Republicans and the White House to address gun safety in schools in the aftermath of the mass killing at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last week.

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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