Shepard Fairey is joining the Emerson Collective to support an immigration program protecting people who were brought to the U.S. as children that’s embroiled in the impending government shutdown.
The artist and Obey Giant founder released an updated version of his popular “We the People” print featuring a woman wearing a shirt with an eagle eating a rattlesnake, a symbol of Mexico, to read “Dream Act Now!” Emerson Collective, an organization focused on social justice founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, a philanthropist and widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, is encouraging supporters to get the prints, being given away for free, in hopes that they will spur Congressional action and be used during the upcoming Women’s March.
Emerson Collective also collaborated at the end of last year with Virgil Abloh of Off-White on a T-shirt reading “We Are All Dreamers” that was worn and promoted by a number of celebrities and high-profile fashion figures. Jessica Chastain, Ellen Degeneres, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Goldie Hawn, Selena Gomez, Naomi Campbell Grace Coddington and even Barbara Bush, daughter of former Republican president George Bush, have all promoted and worn the shirts.
The DREAM Act, formally known as Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, has gained widespread support in recent months from some of the biggest names in fashion, retail and technology responding to the Trump administration’s September decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
DACA was put into effect in 2012 under the Obama administration in order to give undocumented immigrants brought to America as children a chance to work, attend school and pay taxes without threat of deportation on a rolling two-year basis, while a more permanent solution, the DREAM Act, waded through partisan battles.
A version of the act was introduced to Congress in 2001 and subsequently amended and reintroduced annually from 2009 to 2012. It has faced repeated filibusters and fallen short of the 60 Senate votes needed to be formally considered, leading Obama to enact DACA in 2012 through an executive order.
When Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke of the decision to end DACA, they did not mention the purpose of the program, but characterized it as “executive amnesty” and criticized Obama for using an executive order to enact it. In less than one year in office, Trump has signed 58 executive orders, while Obama averaged 35 per year during his presidential tenure.
Although the scheduled March 5 end of DACA has been postponed by an California federal judge ordering a preliminary injunction, Democratic lawmakers are now pushing for some version of the protections afforded by DACA or the DREAM Act to be included in a government-wide funding bill.
Although an interim bill without immigration protections was pushed through the House on Thursday, Democrats have since served notice of their intent to filibuster an upcoming vote on an additional bill.
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