March 2009 Archives

I've blogged my heart out for the DREAM Act this week.  Though I've probably exhausted every argument out there I just wanted to draw everyone's attention to a post Dream Activist just put up at

We already have to battle it out with nativists and with our life circumstances. We do not want to be fighting with our friends and allies too. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Dream Activist (28 March 2009)
I recommend reading the whole thing, but that's a good primer for the argument, from the mouths of unauthorized youth themselves.  Prerna also spoke out courageously in the comments section of Citizen Orange, when a "progressive" spoke out against the DREAM Act.  The whole argument deserves to be reproduced in full.
(sombrero tip to the MIRA Coalition Blog for the video)

It was great to see Keith Olbermann speaking out on migrant detention issues following the release of a recent Amnesty International report.  
I just received press releases from both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House regarding the reintroduction of the DREAM Act.  See my earlier post for actions you can take in favor of the DREAM Act, as well as links to background posts I've written on the DREAM Act.  Below I will paste the text of the press releases.
I wasn't able to sleep much last night.  I'm restless.  I keep feeling like there's something more that I can do to help get the DREAM Act passed.  My TV is running C-SPAN in the background so that I don't miss anything.

Today is the day.  Today could be the day that the hopes and dreams of hundreds of thousands of unauthorized migrant youth come true. has a post up with suggestion on what people can do.  Through facebook, over 1,500 have pledged to call-in, today, and over 10,000 have been reached.

Below are just some of the things you can do to voice your support for the DREAM Act, today, and I will write out the links so people can copy this and send them out to whomever they want:

1. CALL - The National Council of La Raza has a page to help you call your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.

2. FAX - America's Voice has a page to help you fax your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.

3. EMAIL - has a page to help you email your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.

4. PETITION - has the official petition in support of the DREAM Act.

5. TEXT - Text "Justice" ("Justicia" for Spanish) to 69866 to be the first to know when the DREAM Act is introduced.  FIRM's Mobile Action Network is an excellent way to stay connected and have maximum impact at just the right moment.
I won't include this as an official action, but the last thing I'm going to be doing is praying.  Never underestimate the power of sending out positive energy and praying that the universe moves towards justice.  Feel free to include actions that I might have missed in the comments section.

If you want more background on the DREAM Act read the following two posts that I wrote on the subject:

The Politics of the DREAM Act
Pass the DREAM Act For Future Economic Prosperity

It is official.  According to the St. Petersburg Times, the DREAM Act will be reintroduced this week by Sen. Richard Durbin and Sen. Richard Lugar:

The movement's moment could arrive as early as Tuesday when Durbin reintroduces the bill with co-sponsor Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.
Saundra Amrhein - St. Petersburg Times (21 March 2009) is also beginning to sound the war drums through their blog.  Thousands have already been invited to call-in in support of the DREAM Act through facebook.  The DREAM Act will be the first major migration policy battle of the 111th Congress and the Obama administration. 

As such, I thought it would be good to step back and reflect a little bit on the politics of the DREAM Act.  I've already written a post advancing a comprehensive argument for passing the DREAM Act during these trying economic times.  It was published on Alternet this morning.  Today, I thought I'd reflect a little bit on the political climate the DREAM Act faces. 
It appears our online efforts for the DREAM Act are starting to have an impact.  Just this morning, my comprehensive argument for the DREAM Act was published on, one of the largest online magazines on the net. 

I was pleasantly surprised to the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Charles Kuck, give a shout out to Citizen Orange as Dave Bennion spoke to him about the DREAM Act on his weekly "Immigration Hour" radio show.

Charles Kuck: I do love Citizen Orange.  Plus it has a very orangey website. 
Dave Bennion: Ya it's orange from top to bottom.
Immigration Hour (23 March 2009)

That has to be one of the best shout outs ever.  I'm framing that quote and putting it on my wall.  Thanks also to Dave Bennion for representing.  I write all of this just to reiterated that we're having an impact, but our work isn't done yet.  Click through to find out what you can do to support the DREAM Act behind the the safety of your computer screen.

I'm happily returning from my blogging hiatus this week to make a common-sense argument: passing the DREAM Act is not only the right thing to do, but in these trying economic times it is also the sensible thing to do. 

I am such a passionate advocate for the DREAM Act that I often forget there are people in this world that don't know what the DREAM Act is.  According to Wikipedia:

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (also called "The DREAM Act") [is] a piece of proposed federal legislation in the United States that would provide certain immigrant students who graduate from a [U.S. high school], are of good moral character, arrived in the US as children, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency.
Wikipedia (23 March 2009)
The National Immigration Law Center also has a basic information sheet (pdf) that I print out and give to people who are not familiar with the DREAM Act.  I don't go into any migration-related meeting without it.  In 2007, I pushed hard for the DREAM Act when it was introduced  in the U.S. Senate, and I was crushed when it failed.  Migrant youth cannot wait any longer.  The time to pass the DREAM Act is now. 

On Thursday, March 19, another workplace raid occurred. Bay County Sheriff's Office Illegal Alien Enforcement Unit (a 287(g) group) and the Panama City ICE unit conducted the raid. Workers were arrested at "Construction Enterprise Inc." located at the Waterside APartments of Jenks Avenue construction site in Panama City, FL.

Panama City is just miles down Highway 30 from Chilean Student murderer Dannie Baker's Miramar Beach, FL neighborhood. Panama City is also the headquarters for the "League of the South," a group listed as a racist hate group by the SPLC.

No employers were arrested during the raid even though this company has had previous ICE worker violations. The workers, 1 from Mexico and 7 from Honduras, were jailed at the BAy County Jail with a Hold for ICE.

See complete story on:


Lawrence Downs brings us the corrido of Saúl Linares, an organizer from Hempstead, Long Island (next door to one of my least favorite places on earth, the Garden City USCIS office). Linares sings about the exploits of Sheriff Joe "Arpayaso," Arizona's clown prince.

Dreams to be Heard, a club that helps undocumented college students at California State University Northridge has a new radio spot. But rather than me telling you, how about I let them tell you themselves. Tune in if you can, I know I will.     

We are happy to announce that D2BH has been offered a 10 min. segment on KPFK (Pacifica Radio), our local progressive radio station. We'll be on "The Morning Review with Gabriel Gutierrez" twice a month, starting tomorrow (Wed. March 11) at 7 am. 

The Morning Review is a progressive radio show. You can tune into 90.7 FM (Los Angeles) or 98.7 FM (Santa Barbara) or listen live online (

This space will be used to educate the general public on issues affecting undocumented students and their families. We will also promote any local events and actions by our allies, like the CA Dream Network and United We Dream

Although it's not our first time in the radio, this is our first time participating in such an exciting project. So, we hope you listen to us tomorrow and if you have any suggestions or questions, please send them in to Type in "MORNING REVIEW-KPFK" in the subject line. 

La Oreja de Van Gogh is a Spanish band that makes catchy pop music. I haven't heard them since lead singer Amaia Montero went solo in 2007, but I'm going to have to track down their latest album now to see what it sounds like.

The video above is a very literal interpretation of the lyrics to "Un Mundo Mejor." Following is the more upbeat "20 de Enero" which will forever remind me of Buenos Aires circa 2003. (Not because Argentina was overrun by space aliens that year, but because that's where I was living when the album was popular.)

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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