Mother of three Dreamers holds fast on Hill for passage of DREAM Act

Daniel Galan and Antonia Alvarez advocate for the passage of the DREAM Act near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington Dec. 5. They were fasting and praying for 10 days to draw attention to the immigration issue. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard) Daniel Galan and Antonia Alvarez advocate for the passage of the DREAM Act near the U.S. Capitol building in Washington Dec. 5. They were fasting and praying for 10 days to draw attention to the immigration issue. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Antonia Alvarez, the mother of three DACA recipients and one U.S. States citizen, began a 10-day fast Dec. 4 outside of the Capitol in Washington to advocate for the passage of the DREAM Act.

The measure would allow her children and 800,000 other Dreamers to remain in the country and gain a path to citizenship.

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Alvarez is originally from Mexico City and said she immigrated to the United States 16 years ago because of dangerous conditions in Mexico. She currently lives in New Brighton, Minnesota, where she has done similar fasts throughout the past few years.

But after President Donald Trump announced in September that he would end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, there was added urgency to Alvarez's advocacy.

To get the attention of members of Congress, she decided she would need to travel to hold a fast right in front of their offices. In ending DACA, Trump called on Congress to come up with a legislative solution to keep the program by March. Many are calling for passage of the proposed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, to do just that.

After President Donald Trump announced in September that he would end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, there was added urgency to Alvarez's advocacy.

Alvarez, a parishioner of Incarnation Sagrado Corazon in Minneapolis, traveled to Washington with a group of leaders from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to speak with congressional leaders, then stayed behind to carry out the fast.

She said she planned to fast until passage of the DREAM Act or when Congress is scheduled to recess for the holidays Dec. 15.

Every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., she planned to sit in a section of the Capitol grounds directly between the House office buildings and the Capitol, urging lawmakers take action on the bill.

"Sometimes I said, 'God, I stay alone,'" she said, expressing fear about doing this by herself. "But I listen, (and hear) 'You're not alone.'"

Now she really isn't alone. Daniel Galan, a 25-year-old electrician from Chicago, who saw on Facebook what Alvarez was doing and decided to hop on a bus from Illinois to join her.

Galan, a parishioner of St. Paul Catholic Church on Chicago's South Side, was brought to the United States from Mexico City at age 8. He and his girlfriend are both DACA recipients, so he said he was doing the fast for the both of them, as well as for many other Dreamers he knows who couldn't make the trip to Washington.

"Our family is poor. My mom didn't see any future for me in Mexico, so she brought me here so I could go to school, work, and become something of myself," Galan told the Catholic Standard, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Washington.

"Our family is poor. My mom didn't see any future for me in Mexico, so she brought me here so I could go to school, work, and become something of myself."

Alvarez's three children who are DACA recipients are 24, 25 and 28 years old. Her oldest child is a businessman, and the other two are in school, with one getting her bachelor's degree and the other pursuing her master's degree. She also has a 12-year-old daughter who is a United States citizen.

"Every day she is crying for her brother and two sisters," Alvarez said.

Alvarez, who has a house cleaning business in Minnesota, said her family has paid for all of her children's education.

"We don't want crumbs," she said. "We are working for everything."

Unlike herself, Alvarez's kids are now in the legal system, she pointed out, since they had to give personal information and go through a vetting process to be covered by DACA. This would make it easier for them to get deported.

"ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has all of our information," said Galan. "They know where to find us, know where we live and know where we work."

Alvarez was catching the attention of several members of Congress who have come out to speak with her, some of them bringing her hot water or inviting her inside for a break. But Alvarez declined to go inside, and instead invited them to come visit her whenever they want a break.

As the two stood outside next to their table that supports a large cross, Galan spoke about his hopes for the future. He has not seen his dad since he left Mexico, but speaks to him frequently; Galan's mother and brother live in the United States.

Galan hopes to someday get a green card so he will be able to travel back and forth to visit his dad, and maybe someday bring him to the U.S. legally if he becomes a citizen.

Galan hopes to someday get a green card so he will be able to travel back and forth to visit his dad, and maybe someday bring him to the U.S. legally if he becomes a citizen.

He hopes to start his own electric company. But he fears that he will lose his job once his DACA benefits expire, since the company he works for checks on employees' legal status. He recently renewed his DACA participation; it expires in March 2019.

But until Congress passes a more permanent piece of legislation, Galan said he would "be contemplating the day I lose everything I've worked for."

Noting her family's situation, Alvarez said, "My kids are afraid, but I'm not afraid. I'm fighting for protecting my children …Always I pray to God, always I believe in God, always my faith is in God."

With tears in her eyes, Alvarez said one of her daughters feels so afraid that she wants to leave the country and move to Ghana, where her boyfriend is from, because she thinks they would not be discriminated against there.

Alvarez said she not only prayed for her own family and for Dreamers, but also for Trump, asking God to bless him.

"I'm angry, but (I don't) hate. That is not my position," she added.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Michael McDermott
2 months 1 week ago

These people Plan to engage in "Chain Migration" using DACA as the anchor, and yet the story ignores the facts of this program: SEE:

DACA: Key Link in America’s Chain Migration
By immigrationreform
Recent immigrants to the United States bring more than three additional migrants into this country – an average that’s 30 percent higher than the “chain migration” rate of the early 1980s.

The numbers will only go up if amnesty is granted to some 800,000 recipients of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
U.S. chain migration policies allow immigrants, upon attaining citizenship, to petition for adult brothers and sisters, adult sons and daughters, and parents. Each of those individuals can, in turn, do the same, thereby establishing multiple new family chains.

The endless piling-on process – unique to the United States – yields millions more newcomers without regard to their labor skills or their impact on native-born workers. Meantime, sponsorship of parents is graying the U.S. migrant chain, with attendant strains and yet-to-be-calculated costs to the nation’s health care system.

Out of 33 million immigrants admitted to the United States from 1981 to 2016, about 20 million – 61 percent — were chained migrants.
&
Report: DACA Illegal Aliens Working in California Gov’t on Immigration Issues By capoliticalreview
Corruption? “A new report by the San Jose Mercury News reveals the extent to which DACA beneficiaries have been given opportunities ahead of Americans, with many working as aides and interns on immigration-related issues in San Jose, California.

For instance, Mario Lopez, an illegal alien in the DACA program, works as an aide and adviser to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese. Lopez advises Cortese on immigration issues, despite technically being in the U.S. illegally.

Lopez began the open borders organization, New Americans Fellowship Program, in 2015. It works to give paid, county government internships to illegal aliens.”
Breaking our laws now qualifies you to work for government—guess honest residents and Americans do not want those jobs.

Michael McDermott
2 months 1 week ago

Chain Migration - For Anyone & Everyone, or is there a Limit?

"Port Authority explosion suspect: What we know about Akayed Ullah
foxnews us/2017/12/11/port-authority-explosion-suspect-what-know-about-akayed-ullah.html
Ullah lived in Brooklyn after he entered the U.S. in 2011 from Bangladesh on a chain migration visa,
Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement.

The DHS said Ullah came to the U.S. on an F43 visa, a preferential visa available for those with family in the U.S. who are citizens.
He was considered a "Lawful Permanent Resident from Bangladesh," Houlton told Fox News.

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