Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > Guest Voz: Russian by birth, American by heart, DREAM Act student Ivan Nikolov fights to be an American

Guest Voz: Russian by birth, American by heart, DREAM Act student Ivan Nikolov fights to be an American

LatinaLista — In our ongoing show of support and solidarity with the thousands of undocumented youth who qualify to stay in the United States under what is known as the DREAM Act, Latina Lista continues publishing the DREAM letters by young people who face an uncertain life and future because of their illegal status.

Ivan and Alanna-thumb-350x428.jpg

The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched 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.

Ivan and his fiancee Alanna

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,

In May, my mother and I were picked up in an immigration raid in our home. I was told that in 2002, when I was just 12, I missed a court date at which I was ordered removed from this country. I’ve been in detention for three months, now, awaiting my deportation.  My mother was deported on Friday, August 6th, and I’m set to be deported any day now.

I immigrated to the United States from Russia when I was just 11 years old.  My mother married a U.S. citizen who is the only father I know. I do not remember much about the journey to America, nor did I even know I was undocumented until I was 15 and asked my parents about getting a driver’s permit. This is the only country I know as my home and I don’t know what I would do if I were deported, now.

I am a long-time resident of Michigan.  I have a fiancée who has been with me for over three years.  It would be a great loss to her and to my community if I were deported.

In Russia, it would be difficult for me to survive. I barely speak the language and I have very little family there.  I dream of studying film or music. I love my pets and my many friends in the U.S.  I want to be able to see them again.  Please take action now to stop my deportation.

Ivan Nikolov

Please do the following to help Ivan:


  1. Sign this petition to DHS
  2. Send a fax to DHS
  3. Call Janet Napolitano, Director of the Department of Homeland Security (202-282-8495)
  4. Call John Morton, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (202-732-3000)
  5. Call Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and ask him to lead on getting the DREAM Act passed this year (202-224-6221)
  6. Call Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and ask her to co-sponsor the DREAM Act (202-224-4822)


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.  The letters are produced by Kyle de Beausset at Citizen Orange with the assistance of America’s Voice.  Every Monday and Wednesday DREAM-eligible youth will publish letters to the President, and each Friday there will be a DREAM Now recap.

Approximately 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from U.S. high schools every year, who could benefit from passage of the DREAM Act.  Many undocumented youth are brought to the United States before they can even remember much else, and some don’t even realize their undocumented status until they have to get a driver’s license, want to join the military, or apply to college.  DREAM Act youth are American in every sense of the word — except on paper.  It’s been nearly a decade since the DREAM Act was first introduced.  If Congress does not act now, another generation of promising young graduates will be relegated to the shadows and blocked from giving back fully to our great nation.

This is what you can do right now to pass the DREAM Act:


  1. Sign the DREAM Act Petition
  2. Join the DREAM Act Facebook Cause
  3. Send a fax in support of the DREAM Act
  4. Call your Senator and ask them to pass the DREAM Act now.
  5. Email kyle at citizenorange dot com to get more involved

Below is a list of previous entries in the DREAM Now Series:

Mohammad Abdollahi (19 July 2010)
Yahaira Carrillo (21 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – Tell Harry Reid You Want the DREAM Act Now (23 July 2010)
Wendy (26 July 2010)
Matias Ramos (28 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – The CHC Has To Stand With Migrant Youth Not Against Us (30 July 2010)
Tania Unzueta (2 August 2010)
Marlen Moreno (4 August 2010)
Weekly Recap – The Ghost of Virgil Goode Possesses the Republican Party (9 August 2010)
David Cho (9 August 2010)

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  • alvin cortez
    August 15, 2010 at 3:32 am

    “This is the only country I know as my home and I don’t know what I would do if I were deported, now.”
    I’m sorry that you were a victim of your parent’s indiscretions. Perhaps you could do the same thing that Mexicans do when they illegally migrate from the only country they know, Mexico. Illegal aliens from Mexico don’t seem to have a problem with leaving the comfort of their homeland and entering a country that is alien to them, the U.S. If one of your parents were a diplomat, and you were born in the U.S., you might return to your homeland years after their entry into the this country and find yourself in the same position. You wouldn’t be entitled to citizenship under those conditions, and I don’t see why you should be entitled to it under your current circumstances. Ask assistance from the Russian government and apply for a job.

  • Karen
    August 17, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Alvin, your post is incredibly cruel. I hope this young man gets to stay. What harm is there in letting him become a US citizen? Having more citizens strengthens our country.
    Obama needs to pass the Dream Act. God, he is so afraid to take a stand and do what is right.

  • kyledeb
    August 20, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Friggin DHS is playing games with Ivan. It’s time to let him stay!

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