Mi Familia Vota & Nevada Groups Team Up to Push Back on Trump Administration’s Abrupt Deadline to Renew DACA


For Immediate Release

October 5, 2015

Contact: Denise Lopez, denisel@mifamiliavota.org, 559-393-3398

Mi Familia Vota & Nevada Groups Team Up to Push Back on

Trump Administration’s Abrupt Deadline to Renew DACA

As thousands of DACA recipients wait in limbo,

grassroot groups fight back to defend DREAMers

LAS VEGAS, NV – Exactly one month ago the dreams of 800,000 students, workers, young parents and community members were shattered when President Trump and his administration failed to make the moral decision and announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Mi Familia Vota proudly joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLU of Nevada), CUNY Citizenship NOW, Culinary Workers Union Local 226, and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) to protect DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  Together the groups hosted a total of four free DACA Renewal Clinics throughout Las Vegas. The harsh and unreasonable deadline of only one month for the select DACAmented folks to submit their renewals strengthened these groups’ determination to help DREAMers across the state. Together we reached hundreds of individuals and successfully completed over 30 DACA renewal applications. We also provided free attorney consultations, effectively making a difference in dozens of lives.

“We are proud to have come together with so many other partners to help ensure continued protection for the undocumented members of our Nevada community. We are especially thankful to the many attorneys who volunteered their time at the DACA clinics. Our efforts would not have been possible without these passionate volunteers,” said Amy Rose, Legal Director of the ACLU of Nevada.

Laura Martin, Associate Director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada added, “The arbitrary and cruel deadline imposed on young immigrants by the Trump Administration has passed, leaving thousands upon thousands of young immigrants without any protection from deportation. 13,000 Nevadans have tasted the American Dream and will not go back into the shadows, but will lead the fight to pass a clean DREAM Act.

“Over the last 30 days, volunteers across the state jumped into action to provide free renewal services; attorneys, retired judges, and law students provided free legal services; organizations opened up their doors to provide space for workshops, trainings, and meetings. With the help of UNLV Law School, PLAN raised $15,560 to pay for 31 DACA renewal applications, and our citizenship office in Reno alone renewed 39 DACA applications. Many other organizations stepped up in a big way to support our immigrant community and send a loud and clear message that immigrants are welcome in Nevada, and are here to stay.”

Martha Menendez, Supervising Attorney, CN! National Initiative, Nevada said, “Citizenship Now is proud to have contributed to these efforts and thankful to all the volunteers who immediately viewed the September 5th announcement as a call to action. We look forward to continuing this work in Nevada to ensure that every member of our community can stand strong.”

Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union, Nevada’s largest union and immigrant organization said, “We are united in the fight to Defend DACA and Protect TPS: Approximately 5,700 immigrants with TPS designations call Nevada home and have lived in the United States for nearly 10 years. They pay taxes, raise their children who are U.S. citizens, and contribute to our economy. If TPS were to expire, it would criminalize thousands of current legal workers in major cities and industries overnight. We call on Republicans to renew TPS and not separate and destroy families who have deep roots in the United States.”

“I fled El Salvador 16 years ago because of all the violence – it wasn’t safe for me there. I’ve lived in the U.S. since 2001, I met and married the love-of-my-life, had a son that I’m so proud of, and I even bought a house with my wife, said Mauricio Valdez, a Houseperson at the Hilton Grand Vacations at the Flamingo and a Culinary Union member. “America is my home and I wouldn’t be able to stay in this country with my family if I didn’t have TPS. I ask politicians to renew the TPS program and don’t destroy my family.”

Alicia M. Contreras, Mi Familia Vota Nevada State Director added, “Nevada benefits from, and supports, immigrants as part of our community. We urge Senator Dean Heller to co-sponsor the Dream Act and protect TPS and demand that his party leadership move to pass a clean DREAM Act now. We are also asking all fellow Nevadans to call Senator Heller and members of Congress to stand up for our communities. This is not a hard decision but a moral one and the only decision to keep our families together. Leave anti-immigrant politics out of Nevada.