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The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, 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. 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!
This post will mark the completion of the first week of the DREAM Now Letters. This social media campaign has been an immediate success, which is in large part due to the historic actions of DREAMers this week.
Major bloggers from across the net, which I will link to below, have already cross-posted both Mohammad Abdollahi’s and Yahaira Carrillo’s stories. The letters even made a brief appearance on memeorandum, a news aggregator that I’m addicted to.
If you haven’t read about it, yet, on Tuesday, 21 DREAM Act youth were arrested on Capitol Hill. Nativists’ heads are already exploding at the notion that undocumented youth could openly declare their immigration status, get arrested, and not get deported. David Bennion, my co-blogger at Citizen Orange, has the best write up of the action, by far. It’s new media at it’s best. He was actually there while it was happening.
The chief co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), immediately scolded the DREAM Act 21, but their action achieved its aim. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is already singing a different tune and has agreed to move the DREAM Act forward, now, if reform advocates agree to it.
After a great deal of sustained pressure, major reform advocates like the Reform Immigration For America campaign have already agreed to moving the DREAM Act forward, now. Unfortunately, there are others, like the National Council of La Raza, who are still holding out on the quixotic notion that comprehensive immigration reform has a chance of passing this year, perhaps in the lame duck session. As I’ve written before, this strategy is not only unrealistic, it is dangerous and irresponsible. It is a needless gamble on lives of another generation of unauthorized migrant youth. Anyone who is against passing the DREAM Act, now, is on the wrong side of history.
Sen. Reid is coming to Netroots Nation, this weekend, and while he is here, we are hoping to make the case to him that the time to move forward on the DREAM Act is now. I’ve listed the actions you can take to urge Sen. Reid to bring the DREAM Act up for a vote, now, in this post. In just one day, over 50 people have signed the twitter petition urging him to do so.
The DREAM Now Letters will continue next week, hopefully with good news from Netroots Nation. Meanwhile, I would like to thank all of those who posted both Mo’s and Yahaira’s letters, especially those who have committed to continue publishing these letters in order to raise awareness and build pressure for passing the DREAM Act, now. If you are interested in writing a letter or publishing these letters please contact me at your earliest convenience.
Below is a list of those who are standing on the right side of history in asking for the DREAM Act now by publishing the DREAM Now letters. I will also list publications where the DREAM Now Letters have been mentioned.
If you are not listed here and would like to be please contact me.
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. Every Monday and Wednesday DREAM-eligible youth will publish letters to the President, and each Friday there will be a DREAM wrap-up. If you’re interested in getting involved or posting these stories on your site, please email Kyle de Beausset at kyle at citizenorange dot com.
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:
Ask Reid to bring the DREAM Act up for a vote now.