Immigrant youth, together with hundreds of community members, people of faith and labor advocates, rallied through downtown Albuquerque to Civic Plaza on January 14th to create an opposition force to deportations and to stand with immigrants and refugees. Advocates and people of conscience raised their voice on this national day of action to join hands and declare in no uncertain terms that they will fight to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and build sanctuaries of safety for immigrants and refugees in our city. With one voice, those assembled declared that they are #HereToStay and will not be moved.
“Immigrant young people like yourselves made DACA happen when everyone thought it was impossible,” said Felipe Rodríguez, Undocumented Albuquerque Resident & Lead Coordinator for The NM Dream Team. “The reason we succeeded is because we dared to dream together and we had each other. We need you to join us and tap into our community’s resilience to continue with our #HereToStay campaign to protect DACA.”
Rodríguez added, “We are also here to demand Mayor Richard Berry to publicly come out and outline clear policies in our city to create sanctuary spaces that will ensure the safety and protection of the immigrant and refugee community in our city during Trump’s administration.”
Last week’s participation in the march was part of The NM Dream Team’s convocation of all 7 chapters from across the state, including members from Roswell, Farmington, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas for a 3 day “Organizing Bootcamp” where members from all chapters received intensive training on Know Your Rights, Deportation Defense, Organizing through intersectionality, gender, and race lens, and much more.
“We know that this is a moment of uncertainty, but we want to remind the community that — they are NOT alone,” exclaimed Lilia Roman, LGBTQ Organizer for The NM Dream team. “We are here for each other and will protect each other. Here in New México we have fought against an anti-immigrant governor for the past 6 years. We have defended our drivers’ licenses for years and it was because of the community. During Trump’s presidency our resilience and unity will not change!”
The Trump administration has already announced that some of their first acts of brutality will be to lash out against immigrants and Muslims. Trump has said he would end the protections immigrants have today, like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) which protects three quarters of a million young immigrants and provides a level of economic stability and peace of mind to their families and communities. At Civic Plaza, community members voiced their demand for sanctuary policies to be presented by Albuquerque’s mayor early this year that outlines protections for the immigrant community ahead of a Trump administration.
“We came together today to call on all communities to continue mobilizing,” expressed Josue De Luna, DACA Beneficiary and Member of The NM Dream Team. “Now more than ever we must continue protecting our victories such as DACA, which has been proven to be a successful program. We will continue building bridges between community organizations and the immigrant community in Albuquerque to continue pushing for a welcoming environment in our city for all immigrants and refugees. Our immigrant community is ready and is #HereToStay!”
NM Dream Team and United We Dream are calling on all members of our community to organize in their hometowns and learn how to protect each other from deportation. The easiest way to plug in is to text HereToStay to 877877 and to report activity of ICE agents to United We Dream’s Deportation Defense Hotline to 844-363-1423, or by visiting NM Dream Team’s website: nmdreamteam.org.