The Unauthorized Youth Movement Stops Another Deportation: Taha's Deportation Averted

| | Comments ()
Today, I had planned on writing to encourage people to stop the deportation of another DREAMer, who's name is Taha.  Taha's campaign was even more rushed than the Walter Lara campaign.  I first heard about Taha on the July 20, 2009. was spearheading the effort to stop Taha from getting deported on July 29, 2009.  That is not much time at all.  Even worse we didn't have anyone on the ground in New Jersey to help out.  On top of that, Taha was difficult to get in touch with.  I always hope for the best and expect the worst, but I was certainly leaning more towards the latter for this campaign.
It all happened so fast, I'm still not even sure of everyone who was involved, or who did what. brought everyone together.  Advocates like Josh Bernstein, Joaquin Guerra, and Ali Jost at the Service Employees International Union were instrumental, as was Priya Murthy the Policy Director at South Asian Americans Leading Together.  On the ground the New York State Youth Leadership Council was helping out, but they weren't in New Jersey so we compiled a rag tag group of friends and associates to help out, not all of whom I'm sure are comfortable with me citing their names.  At one point I even called up a high school friend of mine from New Jersey to help out, and he dropped everything to go and see Taha. 

Yesterday, we were able to get a letter from Sen. Robert Menendez in support of a stay of deportation for Taha.  And the following actions were distributed far and wide:

Call the DHS comment line and asking them to not deport Taha. Please use this really easy click to call function, or call the comment line directly at 202-282-8495

Sign the online petition:

Co-sign Sen. Menendez's letter on behalf of Taha:

Join the Facebook group formed for Taha by Walter Lara
Call Congressman Sires's office in 202-225-7919 to urge him to submit a private bill for Taha!
Call Senator Menendez's office in 202.224.4744 to urge him to submit a private bill for Taha!
Call Senator Lautenberg's office in (202) 224-3224 to urge him to submit a private bill for Taha!
These were the actions I was going to advertise, today, but just as I sat down to write my blog post, the Department of Homeland Security office had already had enough!  Less than 24 hours and they could no longer stand the phone calls and emails.  DHS deferred Taha's deportation so that he could attend college. 

This is an incredible victory for so short a time period.  We're also starting to develop an effective model for stopping the deportation of DREAMers.  Even as this action started, though, I found myself questioning how we could broaden this model.  Julianne Hing tried to raise this possibility in a recent article critiqueing the Walter Lara campaign.  Unauthorized youth activist Prerna Lal correctly rebutted her critiques in her own blog post.  You see, there's nothing worse than an allie raising critiques from afar when they don't have any successful organizing to back their critiques up. 

Now that we have developed a successful model, though, it is time to broaden these campaigns outside of the battle-tested messages of the past.  We've got to bring DREAMers outside of the graduation gowns and make this about more than individuals.  It is about a movement, an unauthorized youth movement.  The next time, we shouldn't be just asking for the deferral of Taha's deportation order, we should be asking for the deferral of all DREAMers until the DREAM Act get's passed.  We shouldn't be thanking DHS, we should be calling them out further for the way DHS separates families, detains children, etc.  We've shown that we have the power to stop the deportation of one DREAMer, now it's time to build the power to stop the deportations of all DREAMers, or even DREAMers families.  We didn't have enough time with this campaign, but we will with the next one.

digg | | delish


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on July 24, 2009 5:56 PM.

Groundbreaking New Documentary: 9500 Liberty was the previous entry in this blog.

Tweeting The National Council of La Raza Conference in Chicago is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.