Conn. Students for a Dream: Immigration communities not a ‘bargaining chip’

January 20, 2019

Connecticut Students for a Dream, a youth-led statewide network that advocates for the rights of undocumented youth and their families, has rejected President Donald Trump’s offer to extend DACA protections — and bring an end to the government shutdown — in exchange for money to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

“We refuse to let the safety of our immigrant communities be a bargaining chip in Trump’s quest for his border wall,” the group said in a statement Saturday after the president’s proposal was made public.

Jonathan Gonzalez-Cruz, policy coordinator for the student group and a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, said in a prepared statement that Trump’s proposal was an abuse of the immigrant community.

“This is a crisis of Trump’s own making,” Gonzalez-Cruz said. “We see through this facade and we will not be fooled ... Trump and his administration must end their inhumane practice of holding hundreds of thousands of families captive for their own ... agenda.”

Camila Bortolleto, a Connecticut Students for a Dream campaign manager and DACA recipient, said, “We will not exchange temporary protections for a permanent ... border wall. This is not a real compromise, nor is it compassionate, as the only thing it compromises is the safety and dignity of our immigrant communities.”