Migrant Youth: September 2010 Archives

Matias Ramos on twitter just signaled that the DREAM Act didn't move forward on what I believe was a vote of 56-43:
 

Reid has voted NO so that he can bring the bill back. Final vote came four votes short of cloture. #dreamactless than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter


The question is, what will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) do next?  I will write more later.  Below is an email from Mohammad Abdollahi of dreamactivist.org:

At 3:00 pm today a  vote was taken on the Defense Authorization Bill, this is the bill that the DREAM Act would have been attached to.  This was a vote on whether or not to simply talk about the Defense Authorization Bill, which the DREAM Act would have been attached.  This vote did not go through, but this is NOT the end of the line.


The fate of almost a million lives could be decided in the next six hours.  As a voter, as a millenial, as a migrant, as a Guatemalan, I'm writing to say that I will be watching along with the vast majority of those who will determine the future of the United States of America. 

If you already haven't heard already, Harry Reid is going to offer the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act up as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  The Senate is scheduled to vote on taking up the Act tomorrow at 2:15 p.m.  If you haven't called you're Senator yet in the support of the DREAM Act please do so now by calling:

888-254-5087

It is imperative that you focus on these Senators.  If you've called already, call again.  If you've called again, ask five friends to do the same.  If you've done all that, here are some more actions you can take.


Migrant youth are back in the U.S.'s paper of record as Julia Preston covers migrant youth demonstrations that are happening around the nation in favor of the DREAM Act.  Preston put a special emphasis on a demonstration in Miami, Florida, which has to be one of the coolest things migrant youth have done yet.    Reform Immigration For America has some of the pictures and above is a video.  
A leader in the movement to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, just tweeted this:

Our dreams and realities are inextricably linked. I support the #DreamAct because the American promise is for ALL.less than a minute ago via web


As I've written about before, the unity and solidarity between the migrant youth movement and the LGBT movement was forged longed before this week.  See also my co-blogger Dave's post on the dual protests of Harry Reid by Lt. Dan Choi and migrant youth leaders
Great to see migrant youth leaders at the fore of making this a reality.  Sombrero tip to The Sonia G.

United We Dream Statement

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I just received this from Matias Ramos at United We Dream:

DREAM Activists shift into high gear as vote approaches
Immigrants across America hopeful and active

Young people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act will be taking to the streets and demanding that the US Senate adds the DREAM Act to the Defense Reauthorization Bill.  The DREAM Act, which has stalled in Congress since 2001, would create a path to legal status for youth who grew up in this country, obtain a high school degree, and commit to getting a college education or serving in the military. At a time where immigrant communities have been affected by increased enforcement and deportations, the DREAM Act vote brings hope to many families in need of relief. Students in more than 15 cities will be organizing vigils outside of Senate offices.

Traveling Today And Tomorrow

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It comes at the worst possible time, I know, but I've been traveling today, and will be traveling tomorrow for Web of Change which Favianna Rodriguez of Presente.org has very graciously helped me get to.  I will also be attending with Juan Rodriguez of the Trail of DREAMs.  I only do so knowing that the movement is in good hands both on the ground and online, and also in hopes of making an impact with some online movers and shakers in this crucial time.  I just took a nap, will be writing and packing through the night, and will attend the vigil in front of Sen. Scott Brown's (R-MA) office for as many hours as I can before my plane leaves.  
UPDATE (4:01 p.m.) - See this video from My Fox Phoenix of youth outside McCain's Office:



ORIGINAL POST:



See my earlier post on this.  I just received this press release:

Military Hopefuls Continue to Grow Outside McCain's Office
Undocumented youth asking to join military grow in numbers in Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona - Undocumented youth are now on their 4th day outside of Senator McCain's Phoenix office.  Michael, an undocumented aspiring serviceman, is leading a boot camp that has extended for four fays outside of the senator's office with a simple ask, "let me be a soldier."

Ivan Nikolov on the DREAM Act

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You might remember Ivan Nikolov from the letter he wrote for Citizen Orange, and from David Bennion's efforts to get him out of detention.  He has this to say in a video he just made:

I'll write more later, but in the meantime I thought I'd highlight a few quotes from Julia Preston at the New York Times on the migrant youth movement:

Senator Reid's announcement fell like a lightning bolt on immigrant student groups across the country, which have been in high gear all year demanding that the Democrats move separately on the bill tailored to benefit them, known by its supporters as the Dream Act. In the first major test of their ability to mobilize, on Thursday they began a campaign of protests across the country and telephone calls to lawmakers.

[...]

The first showdown on the student bill will come in a procedural vote on Tuesday. Whatever the outcome, the Democrats have seen some political gain. The effort brought new unity for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the immigrants' rights movement and leaders of the immigrant students, who have not always agreed on whether to push for the student bill as a separate measure.

The vote gives the student movement a chance to show its muscle. Unlike other illegal immigrants, the students have become increasingly willing to protest publicly despite the risks.

"Our people will remember in November," said Carlos Saavedra, a Latino leader of the immigrant student movement. "They will be ready to reward or to punish."
Julia Preston - New York Times (16 September 2010)
All eyes are on the migrant youth movement.  History is being written as I write these words, and victory is the only outcome because we are on the side of justice. 


If you haven't been on facebook, twitter, or following the news, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced yesterday that he would be introducing the DREAM Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  Univision anchor Jorge Ramos tweeted last week that Reid wanted to move the DREAM Act before November.  Now we know how Reid wants to move it.  The DREAM Act could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday of next week.


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!

Dear Mr. President,

I am a member of the first graduating class of Felix Varela Senior High which is located in Miami, Florida. I had attended school with my native-born friends. Like them, I participated in activities, field trips, dances, and felt the pain of losing a classmate.
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!

Dear President Obama,

My name is Chih Tsung Kao.  I am 24 years old and am now currently living in Taipei, Taiwan awaiting military service.  This is not what I had planned for my life as I entered high school, but it was drastically altered when I found out that I was undocumented at 17.


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!

[Editor's Note from Kyle de Beausset: I'm publishing this letter in Spanish without translation in compliance with the wishes of Matias Ramos.  For the nativists who bristle in the proximity of anything that isn't in English I say: This is America!  Learn more than one language!]

Estimado Presidente:

Lo saludo con respeto y admiración, pero también con una queja y un pedido.

En Abril del 2010, empaqué mi ropa en dos bolsos y deje a mi familia y amigos en California para trabajar tiempo completo en el DREAM Act, un proyecto de ley que usted conoce bien y por el cual he esperado por muchos años. En ese entonces no tenía donde vivir, pero un amigo me presto su sillón por varios meses hasta que pude rentar una habitación. Washington es muy diferente a Los Angeles, en la cultura y el ritmo de la vida cotidiana. La adaptación fue dificultosa, pero recibí mucho apoyo desde todas partes del país de parte de muchas personas que comparten el mismo sueño que yo: ser ciudadanos legales de los Estados Unidos de América.


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!

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Saad Nabeel and I am writing to you from Bangladesh. Prior to my arrival in this nation, I lived in the United States for 15 years. My parents brought me to America at age three. It is the only home I know. I used to attend the University of Texas at Arlington with a full scholarship in Electrical Engineering. Through no fault of my own I was forced to leave my home, friends, possessions, and most importantly, my education behind.

November 3rd 2009 is a day I will never forget. My mother called me and told me that my father had been detained by ICE and that we needed to leave immediately to Canada to seek refugee status. Being an only child, I had to take care of my mother and go with her.
America's Voice sent out an action alert celebrating our victory with Ivan Nikolov and asking folks to do the same for Selvin ArevaloSending a fax, and asking your friends to do the same, is probably the single most important thing you can do for Selvin.  It will also do a lot for the DREAM Act as the faxes will go to two key Senate votes, Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.   

I'm so glad to share some more good news with you: After spending three months in jail facing deportation, Ivan Nikolov was released last week!

Now, Ivan's safe at home with his fiancée and stepdad, and it's all thanks to your help. Together, we sent nearly 15,000 faxes to the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, and another 2,800 faxes to Ivan's Congressional representatives in Michigan, sharing his story and urging his release. Our persistence paid off, and Ivan is back home with his loved ones in Michigan.

Now, another young man -- Selvin Arevalo -- urgently needs our help.

We've seen just how successful these campaigns can be. We helped save Ivan Nikolov in Michigan and Marlen Moreno in Arizona. Now Selvin Arevalo needs our help. Send a fax now to stop Selvin's deportation!

http://AmericasVoiceOnline.org/Selvin
The call for Selvin Arevalo on Tuesday went better than I could have imagined.  Below is the audio followed by two press releases, one in English and one in Spanish:



Leaders from the Religious, Child Advocacy, and Immigrant Communities Urge ME Senators to Intervene in Deportation of Selvin Arevalo

Call for Federal Action on DREAM Act this September as a Step toward Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Portland, ME - Immigrant and child advocates joined religious leaders from Maine on a call today to press Congress to pass the DREAM Act in September and to urge Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to intervene in the deportation case of Selvin Arevalo, an American student who may soon be deported to Guatemala.  Selvin's story is the most recent of thousands across the U.S. highlighting the need for federal action.