Jewish Council for Public Affairs Joins Forces with Dreamers, Latino Organizations, and Jewish Activists to Call for Immediate Passage of Dream Act
Posted on January 18, 2018
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A broad coalition of national Jewish groups send letter to Congress
calling for the immediate passage of a clean Dream Act. JCPA teams up with 140 Dreamers and several Latino organizations to elevate the message.
WASHINGTON, DC —Today, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), on behalf of a broad coalition of 25 national Jewish organizations, sent a letter urging Congress to ensure that a clean Dream Act is included in the must-pass spending bill that Congress needs to approve by January 19, 2018. This latest action comes as part of a week of critical advocacy surrounding the Dream Act, in which JCPA is playing a leading role.
Yesterday, JCPA’s Tammy Gilden spoke at an historic Latino-Jewish press conference on Capitol Hill with 140 Dreamers, joined by Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Hispanic Federation, as well as the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. Click here to watch the press conference.
“We believe it is our moral imperative to ensure that Dreamers can continue to live, work, and study in the United States, the only country—the only home—many of them know. The fate of over 800,000 immigrant youth should not be used as a bargaining chip,” said Tammy Gilden, JCPA’s Senior Policy Associate. “Every day that Congress delays action, an additional 122 Dreamers lose their status and risk deportation and detention. That is why we are calling on members of Congress and the President to support the immediate passage of a clean Dream Act.”
“We stand here today with our Latino brothers and sisters because our values and our history demand it,” said Elana Kahn, Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. “As Jews, we know what it’s like when we’re marginalized, deported, treated without compassion. We know what it’s like to be left behind, to be treated like a stranger, even in our own home. We stand with our immigrant neighbors, with our Latino brothers and sisters, shoulder-to-shoulder and eye-to-eye.”
The Dream Act is a bipartisan bill that would grant permanent residence status and provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers who graduate from U.S. high schools and attend college, enter the workforce, or enlist in the military. Dreamers are undocumented immigrant youth brought to the United States as young children. Permanently ending protections would inflict needless suffering, separate families, and may cost the economy billions over the next decade.
Twenty-five national organizations, including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and HIAS, signed the letter. The full text of the letter is available here. The letter was signed by the following national organizations:
- American Jewish Committee (AJC)
- American Jewish World Service
- Anti-Defamation League
- B’nai B’rith International
- Bend the Arc Jewish Action
- Central Conference of American Rabbis
- Habonim Dror North America
- Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
- Jewish Council for Public Affairs
- Jewish Labor Committee
- Jewish Women International
- National Association of Jewish Legislators
- National Council of Jewish Women
- Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
- New Israel Fund
- Rabbinical Assembly
- Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA)
- Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
- T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
- Union for Reform Judaism
- Uri L’Tzedek: The Orthodox Social Justice Movement
- The Workmen’s Circle
JCPA also joined over 100 Jewish activists and Dreamers in civil disobedience in the Russell Senate Office Building, organized by Bend the Arc, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and ADL. Click here to watch the moving footage.