Chicago, IL– Yesterday, DREAMers and allies gathered at the Rebano Church in Chicago, Illinois. Pastor Santiago, an Evangelical preacher, opened on how Chicago is a welcoming city in a welcoming state, and drew stark contrasts with Alabama and Arizona. Pastor Santiago then spoke about how Republicans were using religion when it was convenient, such as stirring up the base on abortion, but ignore Jesus when they craft immigration policy. He warned the GOP presidential candidates that they shouldn’t cloak themselves in Christian rhetoric while ignoring his message on families and announced that he would stand by undocumented immigrants and against the GOP presidential candidates who are attacking immigrant communities.
Fanny Lopez-Martinez took the podium next. Fanny, who is now working toward a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Chicago, is also an undocumented student married to an Army veteran who had just returned from Afghanistan. She spoke about how worrisome it was knowing that anytime she would be placed into deportation proceedings. Her husband, David Martinez, stated that it multiplied his anxiety while abroad, not knowing how much of his family he’d be able to come back to. She talked about how she worked hard to support him, and how there were other undocumented military families who were struggling in the same way unnecessarily.
After his win in Puerto Rico, Mitt Romney pointed that his victory means that Latinos are willing to support a Republican candidate. However, he is either completely delusional about his appeal amongst Latino, or lying about his ability to pull in Latinos. Although Romney won the 20 delegates that Puerto Rico has to offer, this is amongst conservative Puerto Rican voters who actually show up to primaries only. Further, Puerto Ricans who live in Puerto Rico have different attitudes about immigration because they don’t have to try to vote for whomever is willing to let their parents stay in the country. What makes Romney’s victory even less impressive is the way that Rick Santorum could not connect with Puerto Ricans at all: he believed that there is a federal legal requirement to be able to speak English.
In the end, Mitt Romney and the GOP candidates appear to ignore the reality when it comes to the issues Latinos care about. David Martinez, Fanny’s husband and military veteran, best described this when he clearly made known that although her wife cannot vote, her voice is his vote and would be voting against those who advocate breaking families apart.
DRM Capitol Group serves as a voice for undocumented youth and lobbying arm of the dream movement. Our work ensures that undocumented youth are represented in the halls of power and are correctly and directly informed of the actions of Congress, Executive Agencies, and the Courts.