--Message: Don't Deny Our Dreams; Pass the DREAM Act!-
As thousands of DREAMers descend on Washington DC to urge the Congress to pass the DREAM Act, today young adults and youth in Tucson, Arizona who await passage of the measure will march locally. The so-called "DREAMers," those who would directly benefit from the measure, will march as a group with their supporters to deliver letters to Senator 's offices. The letters will relay to McCain their life stories and their dreams to be full participants in the future of this nation.
The DREAM Act [Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act] would allow some undocumented immigrant students who graduate from U.S. high schools, who are of good moral character, who arrived here as minors and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency.
Passage of the DREAM Act is critical to the futures of these youth because minors in the United States can only obtain permanent status through their parents. If a child is brought into the country without immigration visas there is no method open to him or her to become a documented resident. Returning to their country of birth does not guarantee a path to documented status and is fraught with further legal complications.
The DREAM Act would open the options of U.S. military service and further education to such young people.
DREAM Act proponents will walk en masse to Senator John McCain's offices in Tucson, led by young people who would benefit by the passage of the DREAM Act. The youth and their supporters plan to gather this morning at 11:30 AM in front of the Bank of America building.
"Just as my dream has been given a second chance, I want Senator McCain to know that all these talented youth who have lived most of their lives in the United States deserve to continue their education and follow their dreams," stated Marlen Moreno Peralta, a young DREAMer who recently received a deferred action in her deportation proceedings. "Rather than worrying about being deported from the only community they know, they should be nurtured and encouraged to continue their education - this is why we must walk with them."
The effort is part of the national week of action to support the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Efforts are underway nation-wide to mobilize pro-immigrant voters to pressure lawmakers to take action on immigration reform measures like DREAM.
Several significant moves this week have intensified efforts among advocates of U.S. immigration reform. On Tuesday, September 14,announced plans for a vote on the DREAM Act as part of Department of Defense authorization bill. On Wednesday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for action on the DREAM Act and immigration reform, President Obama pledged to work hard for the DREAM Act and New Jersey announced that he will introduce comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Yesterday the CHC met with President Obama to discuss strategy to win passage of the DREAM Act.
For more information on DREAM Act activism: DreamActivist.org
ABOUT THE VIDEO (top of post) #1: Video highlights of the Tucson march.
Video #2: Promotional ad highlights the story of one DREAMer. Explains how passage of the DREAM Act would open opportunity to fulfill her potential.