For the next two weeks, a Jumbotron facing Capitol Hill is featuring stories of young undocumented immigrants, known as DREAMers, to prompt lawmakers to pass the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors).
The DREAM Act was introduced as a gateway to U.S. citizenship to protect certain undocumented immigrants who were recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.
DREAMer and DACA recipient Adrian Reyna of Oakland, California, traveled to D.C. as a membership director of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the U.S., to create a sense of urgency before the end of the year.
"We are here also launching the Jumbotron because we have attempted to meet with Speaker Paul Ryan for many times to urge him to get serious about getting the DREAM Act passed. They say that they support immigrant youth but they still have but they still haven’t done anything," said Reyna.
With two weeks left, Ryan has not confirmed if the DREAM Act will be funded be a part of the year-end bill Congress must pass by the end of the month.
According to Reyna, the screen, located on 3rd Street NW between Madison and Jefferson Drive NW, was an effective strategy get lawmakers attention as the stories and images appear for 24 hours.
"It’s really important to have it right in front of the Capitol to make sure when they look out the window that it’s the first thing that they see. Faces of people directly impacted. The faces of the 122 people who are falling out of status everyday. The 14,000 people by Dec. 22 will have lost status and are at risk of deportation."
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Eligible applicants for DACA are individuals under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 and have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007. Recipients are qualified to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and a work permit.
In September Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an end to the five-year DACA program.