As Congress faces a Friday deadline to fund the government, some Senate Democrats are considering blocking the spending bill unless Republicans agree to a bipartisan Dream Act, which would grant conditional residency to immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and meet several other requirements. The Trump administration ended the Obama-era executive program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in September, putting the decision to protect the 800,000 immigrants under the program in the hands of Congress. To encourage their lawmakers, many Dreamers and supporters are bringing the dreams of those awaiting a clean Dream Act straight to Capitol Hill.
Over the past two months, Christian Community Development Association's Camino de Sueños, or Journey of Dreams, has collected stories and artwork from DACA students across more than a dozen cities at more than 30 events. This week, they are delivering those dreams to Congress — specifically, to House Speaker Paul Ryan's office.
The group plans to pour out the cards collected containing the stories and dreams at Ryan's office, and kneel down for prayer in an act of civil disobedience. Yesterday the group met for a prayer vigil outside the Capitol building in preparation for the action.
Ric Zamudio received DACA status in 2012 and was able to finish school and graduate from Arizona State University.
"I'm here today post-graduation and knowing that that was not the fulfillment of our dreams. ... That was a step to the vast dream that I had," Zamudio said. "The reality here is that I want to be able to stay in this country not just to have a better life and to provide for my family, but also to see the fruits of the labor of my parents, of our original Dreamers, of those folks that we call sinners for coming here ... They gave us hope and a dream."
Sojourners president and founder Jim Wallis spoke offered a prayer for the Dreamers, confessing the "sin of our nation."
"This, for us, is a faith issue. This, for us, is a biblical issue. This, for us, is a test of our obedience to the God of the Bible, who instructs us on how we are to treat others — and it is a test of how we treat Christ himself," Wallis said.