Costa Meets With Fresno State DREAMers With Message “I Stand With You”

Jan 26, 2018
Press Release

Fresno, CA – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) met with DREAMers at Fresno State on Thursday to hear their stories, listen to their concerns, and discuss Congress’s ongoing efforts to secure permanent legislative protections for the young individuals.

The conversation was emotion-filled, as each student recounted their story of coming to the United States as a child and shared the fear they feel every day for themselves, their siblings, and their future.

“It’s an emotional topic – it’s hard,” explained one DREAMer. “People don’t know what we’ve been through. We didn’t do anything wrong. We work hard.”

Rep. Costa sat by each student, listening intensely as each imparted their story, before then assuring the students and Fresno State leadership that he will continue working for permanent DREAMer protection.

“Living with this uncertainty: it’s not right, it’s unfair, and it’s outrageous,” Congressman Costa told the students and university officials during the meeting. “My grandparents immigrated to this country and faced many of the same challenges you do. My story, your story, the American story is the story of immigrants.”

Rep. Costa has been working for DREAMer protections and bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform for years. “We must protect DREAMers here in the San Joaquin Valley and across our country. It is simply the right thing to do. In addition, we must let our DREAMers know that we stand with them, and that we will not stop fighting for them. I have been unwavering in my support for DREAMers, as have many of my colleagues. We will continue to work for DREAMer protections through bipartisan legislation because that is the best way to provide real and permanent protections for these young people,” said Costa following Thursday’s meeting.

Fresno State President Joseph Castro has been a strong advocate for DREAMers, and joined Congressman Costa in meeting with students on Thursday. ”We appreciate Congressman Costa, a Fresno State alumnus, for taking the time to visit campus to meet with our DREAMer students,” President Castro said of the meeting. He continued, “As the next generation of leaders in our region and beyond, Fresno State students contribute valuable perspectives on their personal aspirations and professional ambitions. It’s important that our elected officials hear from them first hand.”

There are nearly 600 DREAMers attending Fresno State, and the university provides resources to help ensure DREAMer students access to education and academic success through its Dream Success Center. Dream Success Center Coordinator Gaby Encinas shared, “We at the Dream Success Center are advocates on behalf of DREAMers. We believe in these young people, and we stand with Fresno State and President Castro in providing these students with equitable access to resources and opportunities for success. It is essential that our DREAMer students know that we stand with them and that they trust us to be their advocates, so it is great to have Congressman Costa meet with these students, listen to them, and show DREAMers that he and so many of us are fighting for them.”

During yesterday’s meeting, Congressman Costa shared with the Fresno State students his continued efforts to secure permanent protections for DREAMers, including cosponsoring the Dream Act and his ongoing work as a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. For a list of actions Rep. Costa has taken to secure DREAMer protections, click here.