kyledeb: May 2009 Archives

Movable Type ate a post I spent hours writing on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, last night.  Today, I just want to get things down. 

One thing I've been meaning to get down for sometime is an article that was written in The Hill about the prospects for U.S. migration reform

Dick Durbin, the U.S. Senator from Illinois, specifically says he has the votes to pass the DREAM Act, but that he prefers include it as part of broader comprehensive migration reform.
Thank God David Neiwert uses his megaphone over at Crooks and Liars to speak the truth on U.S. migration policy.  Neiwert always does an excellent job standing against nativism and racism. 

Today, what stood out to me about his post on E-Verify, though, is that he educated people about unsexy policy speak.  It's unavoidable in the U.S.'s broken and complex migration system, and it's good to see Neiwert educating his broad progressive audience about these issues.
Act On A Dream Rally 1 May 2009 - Citizen Orange.jpg(Picture: Harvard Act On A Dream Rally - 1 May 2009)

I took the weekend to rest after what was a hectic last two weeks of school.  I won't be able to relax until I get my grades back, but I've started to ease into a summer of pro-migrant advocacy.  There's so much that I want to write about, but I should start with Drew Faust's endorsement of the DREAM Act.
I'm struggling to get through the last few days of school, so I'll have more time to write after this week.  Still, I wanted to link to an article that just appeared in the Boston Globe.  It is the outcome of almost a year of organizing.

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust yesterday backed federal legislation that would clear the way for illegal immigrant students to apply for legal residency, an endorsement that stunned students and drew criticism for a president who has largely steered clear of fierce debates.


Faust, who declined to be interviewed, is not the first leader to endorse the Dream Act. But her action adds a powerful new voice to the debate over a bill that has languished in Congress since 2001.
Maria Sacchetti - Boston Globe (21 May 2009)

Victory is sweet.

ACTION: Support Middlebury College Students as they ask their President to come out in support of the DREAM Act by emailing Barbara McBride (

Students in the Northeast have been busy.  I've been in touch with students from at least half a dozen colleges here that are pushing to make their schools be more supportive of the DREAM Act.  A friend of mine from Middlebury College in Vermont, Cedar Attanasio, has asked me to publish his letter to President Ronald Liebowitz asking him to come out in support of the DREAM Act.  Attanasio also wrote me in an email to say they've been getting "tons of student signatures, the student government is with us, and we're pushing the prez again on Tuesday."  Combined with our recent efforts at Harvard, it looks as if a movement is rising across the northeast.  Below is Attanasio's letter:
I was just informed about this last night.  The Harvard Crimson and the Boston Globe are reporting that a student at the Harvard Divinity School, Nur Munir, has been detained.  The Harvard Crimson Editorial Board has already come out in support of Munir and is asking Harvard to take a more active role to help him finish his education.  Harvard Act on a Dream hope's to address Munir's detention during a rally, today.  I will update this post as I receive more information.
ACTION: Sign the Petition asking President Drew Faust To Support the DREAM Act

Today is May 1, 2009.  Three years ago, on this day, I went to Georgetown University to speak before a group of students about my attempt to retrace the route of a Guatemalan migrant into the U.S.  My feelings from three years ago are summed up pretty well in an op-ed I wrote for the Harvard Crimson at the time.  The scene at Georgetown was described in Prensa Libre, Guatemala's main newspaper:


Georgetown University's campus was converted into an improvised cemetery.

In a peculiar form of protest, dozens of crosses and a rose were displayed to symbolize the hundreds of immigrants that die upon crossing different sectors of the borders of Mexico and the United States.

There, Kyle de Beausset, a young U.S.-Guatemalan, showed his solidarity with his compatriots in a speech where he cited the singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona to the sound of applause from the crowd.

"Today's protest is not about amnesty, nor is it about immigration reform. It is more than that.  It is about restoring basic human rights and dignity."

Prensa Libre - Claudia Munaiz (2 May 2006) - Translated by Kyle de Beausset
Though I'm often humbled by migrant advocates that have been doing this work for decades, I can't help but feel that I've come a long way in three years.  Today, it feels like I've come full circle.
This op-ed is going to be published in the Harvard Crimson, today, on May 1, 2009:

Harvard University, one of the world's most prestigious educational institutions, is refusing to take an active stance on one of the most glaring educational injustices of our time. Last month, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act was reintroduced into Congress, but Harvard has yet to lift a finger to help get the legislation passed.