For Immediate Release December 6, 2017
Contact: Pamela Naessig, SDVFP Board of Directors
Taneeza Islam, SDVFP Executive Director
South Dakota Voices for Peace Thanks the Sioux Falls Offices of Senators Rounds and Thune for Meeting With South Dakota DREAMers
December 6, 2017 On November 29, 2017, South Dakota Voices for Peace convened a meeting with Senator Rounds at his Sioux Falls office. Senator Rounds appeared via video conference and spent over twenty minutes hearing directly from four South Dakota DREAMers, and a longtime community advocate and immigration legal services provider, Sister Janet Hortsman, a Presentation Sister with Caminando Juntos’ Hispanic Ministry. The DREAMers included nurses, a student majoring in computer science working full time to pay for schooling, and an aspiring small business owner currently in high school.
Similarly on December 6, 2017, SDVFP convened a meeting with three South Dakota DREAMers including one permanent resident who is friends with several DREAMers, and Mariade Cabello Acosta, Pastor of Pueblo de Dios, a Lutheran outreach ministry in Sioux Falls. DREAMers shared their stories with Ben Ready, Senator Thune’s District Director. These DREAMers included two personal bankers and a newly admitted student to USD working full time to pay for school. Mr. Ready spent over 20 minutes with them discussing Congress’ next steps.
If DACA ends, SD would lose more than $12.2 million in annual GDP, and the national economy would lose over $460.3 billion from our national GDP. But for each one of our DREAMers and their families, their ability to live out of the shadows and build a successful and promising life is more than a number.
“Humanizing the issue is so important for our members of Congress at this critical time in the session, which is due to break soon for the holidays,” said Pamela Naessig, Board Member of SD Voices for Peace. “Permanent legislation to protect DREAMers is imminent as President Trump’s announcement of DACA ending is scheduled for March 5, 2018. We greatly appreciate Senator Rounds’ and Thune’s attention to the matter.”
SDVFP has made similar efforts with Rep. Noem’s office since September and a meeting time has yet to be scheduled.
South Dakota Voices for Peace's mission is to empower South Dakotans with accurate information about Islam, Muslims, immigrants and refugees to fight Islamophobia and anti-immigrant bigotry in order to nurture informed, inclusive, and civically engaged communities.