More than 200 people from the UW-Eau Claire and the general Chippewa Valley communities backed their beliefs with their signatures on Nov. 27, urging Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to support passage of the Federal Dream Act 0f 2017.
The bill would extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — an initiative begun under former President Barack Obama that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to stay without fear of deportation provided they meet certain requirements. The legislation is currently awaiting Congressional action.
In an email to community members on Nov. 26, Joyce Anderson expressed concern that the legislation “has not moved forward. We’d like to send a message to our senators by having as many people as possible sign an enlarged post card that will be hand delivered to Ron Johnson’s DC office, asking him to support the DREAM Act.”
Anderson co-chairs JONAH’s Immigration Task Force with her husband, Pastor David Anderson.
“We think it’s just one small thing that we an do to let our elected officials know that we haven’t forgotten these Dreamers, who grew up with our children. Their dream. . . it’s our dream too,” Joyce Anderson added.
Community members were offered the opportunity to sign the large card Monday evening at Eau Claire Downtown Coffee – ECDC, in the Lismore hotel. The two-hour effort produced signatures from 78 people on the large postcard, plus 36 pro-Dream Act postcards on which signers of the large card added individual messages to Johnson.
A similar effort on the UW-EC campus earlier Monday produced signatures and messages to Johnson on 136 postcards.
The large card and the 172 individually signed postcards will be delivered to Johnson’s Washington office on Friday by Emily Anderson. She will also stop in at the office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), who supports the Dream Act.
Joyce Anderson said that Monday night’s signers “were mostly from the Indivisible organization, UW-EC students and JONAH” (Joining Our Neighbors, Advancing Hope), a Chippewa Valley grassroots organization concerned with social justice issues and comprised primarily of diverse faith communities.