“This past Monday, on the anniversary of landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education, Lizbeth Mateo of Los Angeles, Mohammad Abdollahi of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Yahaira Carrillo of Kansas City, Missouri; were detained Tucson, Arizona, after staging a sit-in at Senator John McCain’s office. With this challenge to local and federal law, these youth hope to highlight the urgency of legislative action in Congress, and catalyze mass grassroots mobilization to pass the DREAM Act before June 15th.”
Lizbeth, Mohammad and Yahaira are undocumented students. They are DREAM Act family. Like all the other undocumented students throughout the country, they can no longer sit idly by as life keeps passing us by. Whenever an undoc student speaks out in public, whenever we travel and whenever we organize rallies and protest, we are putting ourselves at risk for detainment and deportation. These three leaders have put themselves on the front lines because the time for the DREAM Act to be brought to Congress as a stand alone bill and be passed. Since it was first introduced 8 years ago, the DREAM Act is the only way college educated undoc students have to fix their immigration status.
This Thursday, 9 students took part in a civil disobedience action blocking off the intersection of Wilshire and Veteran in West L.A. They closed off the streets for more than 2 hours to pressure Senator Dianne Feinstein to champion the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill.
At the same time at 3pm, supporters of the DREAM Act marched from Union Square in San Francisco, CA to Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office. Over 60 students were present to demand Senator Diane Feinstein to push for the DREAM Act out of the Judiciary Committee, where it now sits. As the rally went on, two representatives from Senator Feinstein’s office came down to talk to the students. The students presented them with a couple of large butcher paper letters with handwritten stories and comments from students in support of the DREAM act. According to her representatives, Senator Feinstein will be seeing these letters in her office.60 students decided to enter the federal building and sat there until they were told to leave. Everyone left, except 7 students who linked arms, demanding the passage of the DREAM act now. They staged a peaceful sit-in while the rally continued outside. These students were later arrested. Soon after, they were cited and released from SF police custody.
On Monday, May 24th in New York, NY., a group of immigrant youth from the New York State Youth Leadership Council will begin a hunger strike in front of Senator Charles Schumer’s New York City Office. The hunger strike is in protest of Congressional inaction on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). The youth are urging Senator Schumer to move the DREAM Act forward in the Senate as a standalone bill.
We have the support of millions who know and share the immigrant experience, “I was fortunate enough to become a resident of the U.S. in my teen years, and in 2004, I proudly cast my first vote as an American citizen during the presidential election. I love this country because of the opportunities it has offered me through my own hard work and dedication. I look at its history and know that its future is bright and solid, and one that I am helping shape. My story isn’t anything special, extraordinary or unique. There are countless young people just like me who have overcome incredible obstacles. As a supporter of the Dream Act, I look at the young students risking everything they have ever known and wonder about their talents, contributions and passions. As a country, we have invested in their education, their successes, and their dreams and now, they are in limbo, unable to work with degrees they have paid for. They are unable to contribute to our economy, our tax system, our military or our research institutions.”