Councilmembers Garcia, Neal & O’Donnell to Host DREAM Act Press Conference & Day of Action

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Councilmember Robert Garcia

Centro CHA, Community Groups and Democratic Clubs Will Participate

Long Beach Councilmember Robert Garcia, in collaboration with several community leaders and organizations, will host a press conference and day of action in support of the Federal DREAM ACT, tomorrow, Saturday December 18, at Centro CHA offices, 727 Pine Av in Long Beach. The day of action will include group phone banking to Senators and on-line organizing after the press conference.

The event is from 10am-noon, rain or shine. Refreshments will be provided.

“The DREAM Act provides an opportunity for young immigrants in college and in the military to begin a path to American citizenship,” said Garcia. “Becoming an American citizen was the greatest honor of my life, and I am hopeful these young students and soldiers will get the same chance that I did.”

The DREAM Act would extend legal residency and the opportunity to become a citizen to youth who are undocumented and who complete college or serve in the military, among other requirements. The House of Representatives approved the bill earlier this month, and the Senate will vote on it this weekend.

The Long Beach City Council unanimously voted to support the DREAM Act in October, in a motion cosponsored by Councilmembers O’Donnell, Garcia and Neal.

“As a teacher and a parent, I have seen first hand the despair of young immigrant students who have had to hide in the shadows while they try to complete their education in this country,” O’Donnell said. “These are students whose only goal is to fully live out the American dream through their educational achievements.”

Councilmember Neal remarked, “The Dream Act is important to our community and the greater Social Justice Movement. Now is the time to end this disenfranchisement and make these students whole. I urge Democrats and Republicans to vote YES.”

Centro CHA, which is hosting the event, is one of Long Beach’s most important community organizations, with the mission to enrich the lives of low-income, underserved Latino/a youth, families and neighborhoods in the City of Long Beach.

“The DREAM Act is very important to us because we support an educated class of promising immigrant students who have demonstrated a commitment to hard work and a strong desire to be contributing members of our society,” said Jessica Quintana, Centro CHA Executive Director. “I really commend Councilmembers Garcia, O’Donnell and Neal for hearing the students’ voices and elevating them even higher.”

Other organizations that will be participating in the day of action include Centro CHA, the California State Student Association, Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, the Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization, Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Economy, Future Underrepresented Leaders, Stevenson Elementary School Community Leadership Institute Alumni, Long Beach LAMBDA Democratic Club, and the Long Beach Democratic Club.

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