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I’m not going to lie. This past week has been really difficult for DACA recipients like me who’ve been putting it all on the line to pass the Dream Act. 

When Congress voted on a spending deal last week that failed to include protections for immigrant youth, we felt betrayed, angry, and heartbroken. Then, the White House released their immigration framework on Thursday, demanding $25 billion for a border wall and increased enforcement, slashing legal migration by 50% by sharply cutting family-based migration and the diversity visa program.

It was like reading a ransom note for my future. 

The Trump administration and their allies in Congress are holding the future of DACA recipients hostage to try to force Congress to enact their extreme vision of America, a system that would kick out and keep out immigrants of color, including our families.

Make no mistake: we won’t trade our futures for our families. We won’t accept a deal that allows us to stay safe in this country, but puts our parents at risk of deportation or keeps other families from reuniting. It’s a false and cruel choice; we won’t be used as bargaining chips. We need a clean Dream Act now.

No matter what Trump says in the State of the Union tonight, immigrant youth in Tennessee are feeling more determined and resilient than ever. We are closer than we’ve ever been to passing a Dream Act, securing permanent protection for millions of immigrant youth like me. We need to keep fighting for a clean Dream Act with a clarity of vision and a fierce sense of urgency. More than 16,000 DACA recipients like me have already lost their protections and are at risk of deportation.

There is so much at stake. We can’t give up now. If you’re feeling outraged by the moral failure of our government, I’m asking you to join us, to channel that anger by supporting our youth organizing and helping to funding the next phase of actions.

The daily news cycle is infuriating, but none of us are giving up; we are here to stay. I hope you’ll keep fighting with us.

P.S. Join us in Murfreesboro on February 3rd for a rally in support of the Dream Act. More details and RSVP here.