Houston students to reveal undocumented status, increase pressure for DREAM Act
Immigrant students will publicly declare their undocumented status at UH-D on May 17th. The event is part of the Right to Dream day of action initiated by the United We Dream campaign.
The students and their supporters seek to gain relief from the increased deportations under the Obama administration and step up pressure on lawmakers to pass the DREAM Act, a piece of legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for eligible undocumented youth who completed either two years of college or two years of military service.
Obama’s immigration policies have come under fire by immigrant activists and national Hispanic organizations. Campaign season has kicked into full swing, and the growing importance of the Latino vote in swing states has been recognized by both Democrats and Republicans. Both parties have begun courting Latino voters.
“This is bigger than the DREAM Act, this is about justice and equality for all students. I deserve the right to be an engineer,” said Dulce Matuz, President of Arizona DREAM Act coalition.
Sen. Marco Rubio unveiled a scaled back version of the DREAM Act to help the children of undocumented parents gain legal status. Rubio’s version would provide DREAM Act students with visas before allowing them to go through the normal immigration process, a move some of his fellow Republicans have decried as backdoor amnesty. Previous versions of the DREAM Act called for undocumented students to receive permanent residency or citizenship.
As part of the student’s campaign they have released a “Declaration of DREAMs,” which claims certain rights for DREAMers:
• The right to live our lives without fear
• The right to live with our families
• The right to live with our loved ones
• The right to move freely
• The right to education
• The right to give back to our communities
• The right to build a strong sustainable economy
• The right to fulfill our Dreams.
FIEL, a local DREAM Act activist organization, organized the local coming out action in concert with 22 other events around the country.
“Under the Obama Administration, we’ve experienced record high deportations and our communities are still stuck in the shadows. And, despite waiting over ten long years, Congress has not passed the legislation to protect us. Enough is enough. Through the Right to Dream campaign, we’re launching a nationwide call for real and lasting relief for DREAMers and our communities,” said a statement released by FIEL.
The rally will feature DREAM Act eligible students sharing their stories alongside their supporters.
Right to Dream video from Los Angeles