Torres Hosts Roundtable Meeting with Dreamers and Local Advocacy Organizations
ONTARIO, CA – Yesterday afternoon, Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) hosted a roundtable meeting at the University of La Verne Law School with local Dreamers, immigration advocates, and faith groups to discuss the concerns of Dreamers and their families regarding possible changes to the DACA program, as well as ways in which members of the community can collaborate moving forward.
“In recent weeks many of my constituents have expressed fear in how the incoming administration’s policies will impact DACA recipients and their families,” said Torres. “Today’s meeting allowed me to hear straight from those who would be most affected by possible changes as well as from the organizations working on the ground to protect the rights of vulnerable members of our community. Beyond just hearing their concerns, today also gave us an opportunity to bring together a diverse group of local organizations to find ways to take action.”
The recent election and the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the presidential campaign have led to growing fear and anxiety within the immigrant community. Many are especially concerned with how the new administration’s policies will impact the DACA program and potentially put DACA recipients, who have registered with the federal government in order to participate in the program, and their families at increased risk.
“It is my responsibility to protect the rights and well-being of all individuals in our district – regardless of their immigration status,” continued Torres. “While we are fortunate to live in a state that recognizes the important role immigrants play in our communities and in our nation, there are still a lot of questions regarding the impact of federal actions. Dreamers in particular gave much of their information to the government and underwent background checks, all believing that they would be protected from deportation. Now they are more vulnerable than ever, and it falls on all of us to help keep them safe.”
Torres has recently signed several letters to the Obama administration asking for relief for DACA recipients. In two separate letters sent to the President on December 5th, Torres and other Members of Congress asked President Obama to protect Dreamers’ personal information so that it cannot be used for immigration enforcement purposes and asked the President to accelerate the processing of pending DACA applications and renewals. In a letter dated December 7th, several Members of Congress, including Torres, asked the President to pardon Dreamers. While a pardon would not give Dreamers status, it would make it easier for Dreamers to obtain status through family ties or an employer sponsor.