Call Of The Day: Support DREAMers And The Dream Act

First, a health care update:  We're not out of the woods on TrumpCare yet.  There have been a few last gasps from conservative GOP Senators to try to revive repeal-and-replace using a proposal from Senator Graham (South Carolina).  And of course Trump has attempted to bully the Senate into taking up the fight again.  But seeing as how Graham's proposal doesn't have anywhere near the votes to pass, or even any momentum, and the Senate appears to be ignoring Trump's bombast – for the moment, at least, we're in the clear.

That means we can (FINALLY) turn our attention to other urgent matters affecting New Orleans, such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) crackdown on undocumented immigrants and the step-up in deportations.

In June, ten state Attorneys General (including our own Jeff Landry) wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging the administration to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program that protects immigrant children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their families from deportation

Should DACA not be discontinued by September 5th, the signatories threaten to take the program to court.  Trump has already said he wouldn't defend DACA in court, meaning the program would not survive.  Roughly 800,000 young people (known as "DREAMers") would suddenly be at risk of deportation to countries they have never known, devastating their lives and tearing apart families.

Many immigrants came to our area to help us rebuild our homes in the months and years after Hurricane Katrina.  They brought their children and families with them, and built lives here.  We have a profound moral responsibility to help them now.

To that point: On July 20th, Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status and a path to citizenship for DREAMers.

The DREAM Act can save thousands of families in Louisiana from being torn apart.  But given the impending court deadline, Congress must move quickly to pass the legislation.

WHO TO CALL:

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry AND/OR Senator Cassidy and Senator Kennedy

Louisiana AG Jeff Landry: (225) 326-6000

Senator Bill Cassidy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-5824 and METAIRIE OFFICE: (504) 838-0130 (NOTE: If you can't get through to Metairie, try one of the other offices, such as Monroe: (318) 324-2111, Lake Charles: (337) 493-5398, or Alexandria: Phone: (318) 448-7176)

Senator John Kennedy - DC OFFICE: (202) 224-4623 and MONROE OFFICE (318) 361-1489

Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent.  Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way.  Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy.  If you get a voicemail, then leave a message.  And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!

Sample Script:

For Attorney General LANDRY: 

Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].

I'm calling today because I am disappointed that our Attorney General has joined the legal threat against the DACA program.  DREAMers are vital members of our community, especially in New Orleans, where they and their families helped us rebuild in the months after Katrina.  They are school children, they own businesses in our community, they are veterans who fought for this country.  They contribute greatly to our society and should be given a path to citizenship, not a kick towards the door.  I urge the attorney general to reconsider and remove Louisiana from this legal challenge.

Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones.

For CASSIDY/KENNEDY: 

Hi, my name is [Your Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I'm calling today because I want the Senator to support the DREAM Act and to protect the thousands of DREAMers who live and work in Louisiana.  DREAMers are vital members of our community, especially in New Orleans, where they and their families helped us rebuild in the months after Katrina.  They are school children, they own businesses in our community, and they are veterans who fought for this country.  They deserve a path to citizenship, not deportation.  So I urge the Senator to support this bipartisan effort and swiftly pass the DREAM Act, so we can put an end to the fear these young immigrants are living in.

Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones.  Stay safe out there.

This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.