“Dreamers” and Allies Disrupt the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to Demand Permanent Protection for Undocumented Immigrants

November 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


“Undocumented, Unafraid” could be heard loudly from within as well as alongside New York City’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as undocumented youth—known as “Dreamers”—and their allies from around the country sat down in the middle of the parade! This civil disobedience action, organized by The Seed Project and Movimiento Cosecha, expressed “their commitment to winning permanent protection for young undocumented immigrants in the country.” The parade was disrupted while the police hauled off four of the protesters who allegedly refused to move, one by one. They were later released without charge.

On September 5 the Trump/Pence fascist regime killed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Obama established in 2010. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children—now known as Dreamers—to have two years of renewable protection from deportation and work permits.

This regime has already put the first of 800,000 Dreamers on the chopping block, making them deportable at any time and ending their dreams of getting an education and/or continuing in their jobs, starting families, and more. Instead they will face the cruelty and terror of being torn from their families at any time and sent to a country whose culture, and often whose language they do not know. This crude and ugly attack is meant to deliver a message to all immigrants—in this overtly white-supremacist, xenophobic fascist society immigrants are not welcome.

The movement that has come forward is demanding Congress pass a new, permanent Dream Act—before the end of the year. As one of those who sat down at the parade put it, “Undocumented youth are refusing to put our destiny in the hands of establishment politicians. We are choosing to fight for the dignity of our entire immigrant community, and that begins with us.... We are calling on our community members to stand up and fight for our right to work and live in this country.”

It is also significant that the youth in this movement are refusing to allow themselves to be used by the Democrats to “cut a deal” that will accept attacks on other undocumented immigrants—accepting massive funds for border security and Trump’s border wall, the mass deportation of immigrants from Central America and Haiti by ending their Temporary Protected Status, and more, in exchange for some kind of temporary protection for Dreamers. As another one of those who sat down in the parade said, “The White House and establishment politicians are responsible for this decision. They are negotiating away the power and the dignity of our immigrant community. The community is being pitted against each other - children against parents. Their aim is to make undocumented youth bargaining chips for driving our parents and our community deeper into the shadows.”

Earlier this month Dreamers and their supporters walked out of high schools and colleges around the country to fight for their demand for a new, permanent Dream Act before the end of this year. In Washington, D.C., thousands walked out, marched to the Hart Senate Office Building and stormed inside, taking over the inside courtyard and the 6 floors of balconies overlooking it!

The organizers of this movement now believe their best chance at getting a permanent Dream Act bill passed this year is to force Congress to attach it to the Omnibus spending bill that is scheduled to be voted on December 8. They have issued a call for Dreamers and their allies around the country to organize sit-ins and take-overs of local offices of Congress members on December 4 and 5, to pressure them to “make a choice: stand with Dreamers, or stand by as 800,000 young immigrants are deported.” And then on December 6 through 8 they are mobilizing in Washington, D.C., calling on “undocumented youth and allies across the country to rise to the challenge, and once again, use the power of non-violent direct action that won DACA in the first place.”

The courage and determination of these undocumented youth, who are right now taking great risks to defend not only their own right to be here, but for all undocumented immigrants to remain in this country, is extremely significant. It must be supported by people everywhere, and be taken up as a part of driving this whole regime from power.


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