Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani shared a powerful message of support for “Dreamers” – recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, whose fate currently hangs in the balance – while presenting the Oscar for best production design Sunday night.
“Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers,” Nyong’o said. “We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America.”
“To all the Dreamers out there, we stand with you,” Nanjiani said.
Nyong’o, a best supporting actress Oscar winner, is Kenyan-Mexican and Nanjiani is a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian from Iowa, “two places that nobody in Hollywood can find on a map,” Nanjiani joked.
President Donald Trump ended DACA in September – a program that had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation – but he gave Congress a window to save it.
Monday was supposed to be the program’s official end date, but a series of lower court rulings thwarted the effort, requiring the government to continue renewing permits under the program while legal challenges make their way through the courts.
The Supreme Court said last month that it will stay out of the dispute concerning DACA for now, meaning participants will still be able to renew their status. This decision took some temporary pressure off Congress.
Last month, the Senate failed to advance a bipartisan bill combining DACA with border security funds, and the House has struggled to find enough Republican votes to pass any bill at all.