Mobile billboard in West Virginia urges Manchin to champion Dream Act passage

Mobile billboard in West Virginia urges Manchin to champion Dream Act passage
WASHINGTON, D.C. – TODAY, Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 at 10:30am in S-120 in the Capitol Building, Senators Charles E. Schumer, Bill Nelson, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Manchin and Martin Heinrich will be joined by the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to announce a new proposal to strengthen U.S. airport security, Credit: Senate Democrats

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of West Virginia ran a mobile billboard outside the local offices of Sen. Joe Manchin, urging him to champion passage of the Dream Act, bipartisan legislation that would put young undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship. In a picture tweeted by the organization, a billboard reading "Sen. Joe Manchin: Congress must act to protect Dreamers" is seen passing directly in front of one of his offices.

Advocates launched the mobile billboards as recent polling shows that majority of voters in the state—nearly two-thirds—support legalization for young undocumented immigrants. The polling further found that more than half of voters in the state also support citizenship for undocumented essential workers, with another half overall saying they believe immigrants make their state a better place to live.

"Senator Manchin recently expressed support for the Dream Act, stating that 'we have children that came here that have no other home but America. There should be a pathway for that, for our Dreamers,'" the ACLU of West Virginia said in a statement.

While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has reportedly been "actively exploring" passing immigration legislation through reconciliation, it would require approval from the chamber parliamentarian and support from a united Senate Democratic caucus, including Manchin.

For only the second time since the program's creation in 2012, beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program gathered at the White House on Friday to meet with the president. Pointing to a looming court decision that could yet again put the program at risk, the six DACA recipients shared their stories and continued pressing for urgent, permanent legislative relief for undocumented communities.

"Our lives have been in limbo for far too long," Maria Praeli said in a statement received by Daily Kos. "Every day that goes by without Congress passing permanent legislative protections—for Dreamers and DACA recipients like me, TPS holders, farmworkers, and the entire undocumented population—is a day that hurts all of us. It is incredibly painful for our individual lives, for our families who live in fear of being separated from our loved ones, and for our country every day that Congress fails to act."

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