Migrant Youth: July 2010 Archives

[Video courtesy of Democracia Ahora]

Update: Read DREAMer Matias Ramos's account at firedoglake of why he stood up for the DREAM Act at Netroots Nation.

After last week's civil disobedience action in Washington, D.C., when 21 undocumented youth were arrested for peacefully sitting in Senate Office buildings, four DREAM Act-eligible youth stood in silence during Harry Reid's remarks at Netroots Nation Saturday to ensure he doesn't forget about the importance of passing the DREAM Act this legislative session.

Four DREAM Act-eligible undocumented activists, or DREAMers--Matias Ramos, Yahaira Carrillo, Lizbeth Mateo, and Prerna Lal--had traveled to Netroots Nation to participate in panel discussions, network, and raise awareness of the DREAM Act.

And to participate in direct actions like a mock ICE checkpoint at the entrance to a Civil Rights luncheon in which white Netroots Nation attendees were stopped and asked for ID while people of color were waved through. (How cool is an ICE checkpoint run by undocumented activists?) And then to break the action down beautifully to the video activists who filmed them.

During the "Q&A With the Speaker" segment at Netroots Nation on Saturday at the point that Senator Reid began answering a question about comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act, the four DREAMers at the conference walked up solemnly to stand in front of the stage where Reid was sitting with moderator Joan McCarter. Dressed in the graduation caps and gowns which have become the symbol of the undocumented youth movement, they stood in silence to remind Senator Reid of his commitment last week to move the DREAM Act forward once advocacy organizations signaled that comprehensive reform was no longer viable this year.



I'm in Las Vegas, today, for Netroots Nation 2010.  It's my third time in this city, my first time over 21.  Las Vegas is a plastic city, at least where all the resorts are.  Everything is designed to get you to spend money.  I had to drop $20 for wireless just to write this, and I haven't even gambled yet! 

I'm here to put on a panel entitled "'Illegal' Organizing: Lessons from the Migrant Youth Movement."  The description is as follows:


The "DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama" is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC  20500

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Yahaira Carrillo and I'm undocumented.  As I write this, over 20 undocumented youth are risking arrest and deportation to demand that Congress take action for the DREAM Act.  Just over two months ago, I, along with two others, became one of the first undocumented immigrants in U.S. history to do the same.  Like Mohammad Abdollahi, who wrote you a letter on Monday, I too am queer.  I risk being deported to a machista country, Mexico, where killings related to homophobia are rising.


The "DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama" is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

The "DREAM Now" letter series is inspired by a similar campaign started by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell Every Monday and Wednesday DREAM-eligible youth will publish letters to the President, and each Friday there will be a DREAM wrap-up.  If you're interested in getting involved or posting these stories on your site, please email Kyle de Beausset at kyle at citizenorange dot com.

President Barack H. Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC  20500

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Mohammad Abdollahi and I am an undocumented immigrant.  Two months ago I made history.