“Unfortunately I have to be up here again proving my humanity. I’m here as a woman, a student, and a human being with aspirations and dreams like every other American.” A dreamer spoke these words to a crowd of reporters from WFTV, Fox 35, WESH 2, News 6, and the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday’s Support the Dream press conference at Hope CommUnity Center. She is exhausted that her and others’ statuses as DACA recipients are being used as political leveraging points. She struggles with the fear she has every day wondering if her parents will make it safely to and from work without being targeting from ICE officers.

The room, packed with journalists, and dozens of supporters from around the Central Florida community, was filled with love, unity, but also sadness. A procession of young dreamers in funeral veils holding tombstones preceded the press conference to represent the death of their hopes and dreams as Americans if elected officials continue to stall on passing common-sense legislation for DACA and TPS recipients, and their parents.

Morgan & Morgan’s Matt Morgan, who organized the press conference in collaboration with Hope, CAIR Florida’s Rasha Mubarak, HCC’s Sister Ann Kendrick, and Florida House candidate Anna Eskamani, spoke at the press conference alongside three dreamers who do not wish to give their names to ensure their privacy and security.

This is a troubling time for immigrant people in the United States. Elected politicians broke their promises of a safe and prosperous future in this country for immigrant youth by taking away DACA, by allowing some TPS permits to expire, and by playing politics with immigration legislation. DACA recipients passed rigorous background vetting, revealed the identities and location of themselves and their families and now all of this information is available to U.S. government agencies.

We all deserve better. Immigrant people. Natural born citizens. Schools. Churches. Hospitals. Businesses. The immigrant story touches every fabric of the U.S. society. We cannot continue to fail.

Recent News About Hope:

Orlando Sentinel, Support the Dream Press Conference

Orlando Sentinel, Dreamers Describe Escalating Fear, Angst

WFTV, Support the Dream Press Conference