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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > Undocumented students DREAMING of a new future ask for public’s vote

Undocumented students DREAMING of a new future ask for public’s vote

LatinaLista — Between today and yesterday, my Inbox has been filling up with emails from students who are undocumented but want to go to college, earn a degree and put it to use. Due to laws in most states, that dream is just a dream.

Yet all these students have a rekindled hope that this dream will become a reality. Not because Congress is showing signs of resurrecting the failed bill but because of a web site called change.org that is running a very unique contest called Ideas for Change in America.
I actually wrote about the ideas competition on change.org last week but didn’t specifically point attention to the one idea that all these email writers want Latina Lista readers to notice — Pass the DREAM Act – Support Higher Education for All Students.
Because it happens to be an issue I personally support, I am republishing in part the original blog post and urge Latina Lista readers to support the idea that college be made available to all those students who want to go, regardless of citizenship.
But I believe the message is much stronger in the voices of those who are fighting for it:

My name is Maria and I am a DREAM Act beneficiary. I arrived in this country at the young age of 12, with my parents, from Peru. I am now 21 years old and undocumented. I have grown up in the United States and consider this country my only home. If sent back to Peru, I would be banned from the U.S. for 10 years and the chances of coming back are slim to none. I graduated from high school in 2004 and since then, it has been difficult for me to continue my education as a result of my status.

My name is S.Aran, I am a representative of Dream Activist where we are currently conducting a massive awareness and recruitment campaign in order to garnish support for the Dream Act.
I am an undocumented student, and find it extremely difficult to pursue my college education due to a status I inherited from my parents. Being brought to the United States at the age of 12, raised and brought to an American lifestyle, to graduating high school in 2007 at the top of my class. The DREAM Act would help me, and students in my situation, realize our dreams of becoming active members of society by allowing us to attend school or join the military.

Change is afoot in Washington and Obama hasn’t even been sworn into office yet. But the anticipation of the changes Obama pledged to do once he assumed office has been enough to get people to take the initiative in helping him steer a course on change.
One of those initiatives is known as change.org.
At change.org, a competition called Ideas for Change in America was created to take advantage of Obama’s claim that he wanted an increase in citizen involvement in government. What better way to get involved than to propose new ideas on what Obama and his administration should tackle in the 100 days, if not term.
The first part of the competition was held last month where over 7,000 great ideas proposed by Americans were voted on by the public and the list was whittled down to a second stage featuring just 90 ideas — the top 3 ideas from each of the 30 categories.
But don’t think it’s over.

The top 10 rated ideas from the final round will be presented to the Obama administration on January 16th at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, co-hosted by the Case Foundation. At the event we (change.org) will also announce the launch of a national advocacy campaign behind each idea in collaboration with our nonprofit partners to turn each idea into actual policy.

But before Obama can be presented with the top 10 ideas, they first must be voted on from the 90 that are still vying for a top 10 spot.
From January 5 – January 15, people can vote for their favorite ideas to be presented to Obama — and hopefully see their ideas turn into action.

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Comment(10)

  • Avatar
    latnszzl
    January 8, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    This is my first time commenting.
    I grew up in this country of immigrant parents, so just let me get that out of the way.
    I am for giving people opportunities, but what I have a problem with when immigrants come here and want more education, is tax dollars are necessary for that education are shrinking in these tough times.
    Further, do Americans have the same opportunities in the countries mentioned by the applicants who want to stay ? I think not. There is a double standard, that excludes foreigners from attending their institutions(not that I would want to).
    The next issue is the one that can’t be ignored. ALL countries want help in one way or another. Whether its the education system or the economic system. Why don’t those countries do something to better their own citizens than leave it up to America?
    I’m in Calif. and we’ve got to figure out a way to bring our budget in line with the realities of smaller coffers. We don’t have lots of money and trying to change to add more burden isn’t going to help, as adding more people is bound to do.
    I’d be interested in your take on this nagging dilemma that I have. Thank you

  • Avatar
    Grandma
    January 8, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    This web site also had an idea called enforce our immigration laws that was in 2nd place on December 31. However, on January 1, 2009, the idea and all the posts were gone. Hmmmmm. Guess they didn’t like the fact that there are people out there who would rather have our immigration laws enforced.

  • Avatar
    Grandma
    January 9, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    “Between today and yesterday, my Inbox has been filling up with emails from students who are undocumented but want to go to college, earn a degree and put it to use.”
    Tell me where they’re going to use this degree. If they’re “undocumented” it’s illegal to hire them.

  • Avatar
    anja
    January 15, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I am always amazed by the nativists’ knee jerk reaction. It is always the least informed who are quickest to jump in with the “not in my backyard” attitude. DREAM act is for students who are here, have been here for years, are Americans for all intents and purposes, and want nothing more than a chance to improve and develop in and for the country they love. Why would you want to block the progress of a child’s life based on bias and ignorance and racism? Please, this is about the future- read, understand and grow.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    January 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    It isn’t based on racism nor bias nor ignorance. It is based on the immigration laws of this country. If they had the unfortunate experience of being dragged here by the illegal alien parents, they should cry to them about their demise. Let em go back to Mexico with their Mexican parents and get an education there. They don’t belong here anymore than their illegal alien parents do.

  • Avatar
    anja
    January 28, 2009 at 9:00 am

    You claim your reaction is not based on bias or racism. Yet your example resorts to one of the oldest basest stereotypes. Please become better informed if you want to contribute to the debate.

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    January 28, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    What stereotyping? Either they were brought here illegally or not.

  • Avatar
    Leina
    March 23, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Well Sandra I’m sorry but you are kinda’ being a little harsh and showing a lil’ bit of racism. You wrote: “They don’t belong here anymore than their illegal alien parents do.”
    They are human beings just like you and me. This nation is made up by immigrants and even illegal immigrants. Like Anja said that you need to read and get informed, I agree with him. You need to know how the railroads were build, who are them men and women that pick fruit and vegetables that we have in our markets, not even know that they die daily because of all those chemicals they inhale. Also how many buildings were build and last where did your ancestors come from.
    God bless you, ciao!

  • Avatar
    Sandra
    March 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Leina, how is it being racist by stating the fact that unless you have papers to be in this country you don’t belong here? Where is that singling out a certain race and making deragatory remarks about them which is the definition of being racist? Does everything and anyone opposed to illegal immigration and pro-enforcement of them warrant your stupid little race card?
    The past does not matter in accordance with our immigration laws TODAY and I don’t give a rat’s behing what any illegal is buildiing or picking here. They are here in violation of our immigration and labor laws! What is wrong with you people?
    This nation is mostly made of CITIZENS now, not immigrants. You are the one who needs to get your facts straight!

  • Avatar
    liz
    April 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Sandra,
    like they told you before comment you need to get well inforned. you said that undocumented individual should go back to mexico not acknoledging that not all immigrants are from mexico. one more thing, to let everyone know america is a continent with many countries not just the US.

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