Recently in Education Category

Undocumented and Unafraid

[Ed.: In my inbox from TheDreamIsComing]:

Press Advisory
Contact: Juan Escalante | Cell: 407-602-8675 | Email: Juan@dreamactivist.org

7 undocumented youth 'come out' at Hurt Park and share testimonies

Atlanta, Georgia- In what is the first time something like this has happened in Georgia, 7 undocumented youth, 'come out' of the shadows to share their stories. The youth are participating in this action as a part of a larger national campaign asking undocumented youth to step up, shed their fears, and speak out as being undocumented and unafraid.

Georgina Perez, an undocumented young person is coming out because, she says: "I am tired of living in fear; I am tired of being constantly told I cannot do something just because of my status. I was brought to this country over 18 years ago, when I was just 3. I am a proud Georgian, I want to contribute to this nation and I will not let anyone tell me how to live my life. I am no longer afraid."

On Tuesday Georgina will be joined by 6 other undocumented youth in 'coming out' and declaring their status: Dayanna Rebolledo, David Ramirez, Andrea Rosales, Viridiana Martinez, Jose Rico Benavides, and Maria Marroquin.

All of the youth are members of The Dream is Coming project - www.thedreamiscoming.com. Some of their previous actions have resulted in the arrest of undocumented youth. "It is time for those against us to decide which side they are on. As undocumented youth we are no longer going to stand by while our rights are taken away," says Mohammad, an undocumented youth arrested last May while staging a sit-in at the Tucson offices of Sen. John McCain.

According to a July 2010 Migrant Policy Institute report, Georgina is just one of the estimated 74,000 undocumented youth who are currently living in Georgia. She joins the over 2.1 million who reside in the United States.

When: Tuesday, April 5th at 1:30pm
Where: Hurt Park, corner of Gilmer Street SE & Courtland Street SE
What: Undocumented youth come out of the shadows and demand their rights.

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As TheDreamisComing, we are compelled by our frustration and the fierce urgency of our dreams to act as agents of our destinies and be the catalysts for a future in which we are empowered, mobilized, and living with the dignity we deserve. We are a group of undocumented youth who have worked for years on a path to legalization. We are at a point in our movement where radical action has become necessary for ourselves and our communities.



In case you missed it, Barack Obama had this to say about immigration during his State of the Union address last night:

One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let's agree to make that effort. And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.
Barack Obama (25 January 2011)

California Assemblyman Gil Cedillo reintroduced a bill today that would make undocumented college students in California eligible for in-state financial aid. Prospects for passage of the California Dream Act are brighter this year since Governor Jerry Brown said he supported a previous version of the bill, while Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it three times.

As a state measure, the law would have no effect on an applicant's immigration status, which falls under federal authority. Even so, passage of the bill would help undocumented residents of California pursue a college education and demonstrate the organizing power of migrant youth.

Please take a moment to sign the petition at DreamActivist asking Governor Brown and the California state legislature to pass the California Dream Act.

(Via DreamActivist and Colorlines.)

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