Denea Joseph, an undocumented Belizean living in the United States of America has been invited by US Senator, Kamala Harris, to attend US President Donald Trump’s first state of the Union address tonight. Joseph who is a Belizean by birth, grew up in Los Angeles and is said to be one of 700,000 undocumented immigrants who are protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA)… The same program that President Trump announced he was calling quits in September of last year.
While Trump’s speech will consist of various topics, one of the most pressing issues the public is looking forward to is that of immigration as Democrats, Republicans and the White House have been unable to reach an agreement which will determine the fate of the DACA program. Though White House established a framework that contains a quote unquote ‘fix’ to the program… it has become difficult to accept as the proposal reportedly includes some very serious conditions such as the elimination of several family-based immigration categories.
Senator Kamala Harris indicated quote ‘Dreamers like Denea represent the best of who we are as a nation. Her commitment to the representation and empowerment of black immigrant communities is inspiring. We must continue to fight to give her and the hundreds of thousands of other young people like her who are living in fear, the security they need to live up to their full potential.” End of quote.
Joseph said quote, “I’m grateful to my fellow activists, organizers, and congressional allies like Senator Kamala Harris who continue to champion immigrant rights as human rights. I truly believe that we will win, we will win the fight to ensure that immigrants like myself are equipped with the rights to live and contribute fully. The time is now to pass a Clean Dream Act that doesn’t use undocumented youth to criminalize the original ‘Dreamers’ - our parents and grandparents.” End of quote.
Apart from a DACA recipient, Joseph is also a member of UndocuBlack, an organization that advocates for undocumented Black people.