(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
Originally posted on Citizen Orange.
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!
Dear Mr. President,
My name is Saad Nabeel and I am writing to you from Bangladesh. Prior to my arrival in this nation, I lived in the United States for 15 years. My parents brought me to America at age three. It is the only home I know. I used to attend the University of Texas at Arlington with a full scholarship in Electrical Engineering. Through no fault of my own I was forced to leave my home, friends, possessions, and most importantly, my education behind.
November 3rd 2009 is a day I will never forget. My mother called me and told me that my father had been detained by ICE and that we needed to leave immediately to Canada to seek refugee status. Being an only child, I had to take care of my mother and go with her.
My mother and I were denied entrance into Canada and sent back to the USA as if we were common criminals. I was separated from my mother and sent to a detention facility where I was forced to live with 60 men, many of whom were hardened criminals. There was no privacy and I was forced to use the facilities and showers while fully exposed. I lived in constant fear of being abused. I was without food for upwards of 14 hours a day and received little to no medical attention. When I asked for legal counsel I was threatened with criminal charges and jail time in a Federal Penitentiary. To this day I still have nightmares about being detained. Everything my parents taught me about human decency was replaced with humiliation. Mr. President I hope you are as outraged as I am hurt by this ordeal.
Bangladesh is extremely hot and humid. We have no air conditioning as the power goes out every day. These power outages can last twelve hours or more. The air is heavily polluted and I get food poisoning every week from the poor quality of food here. Raw sewage flows in open drains in front of our apartment. I see people outside with mangled bodies dying on the street because of the heat and starvation. I see mothers practically giving their children away because they are unable to feed them.
I do not know the language and I fear going outside because I am different from everyone else. Speaking in English is an easy way to be targeted here. We cannot afford to live in a safer area. I have not left the apartment for 8 months. It simply is too dangerous for me to leave the apartment unless my parents go with me. I cannot attend school due to the language barrier. I do not know anyone in Bangladesh.
On top of all this, my parents are both ill and have been for months. My father suffers severe asthma attacks that make him bedridden on most days. My mother has post traumatic stress and cannot accept the fact that she is not at our home in Texas.
These events transpired after we were approved to receive our Green Cards. ICE forced my family to leave knowing that Green Cards were available to us. We have been waiting for our Green Cards for 15 years now.
Mr. President, you are the most powerful man in the world, all I ask from you is to bring me home. All I ever wanted was an education so I could become an engineer. I just want to go home and go back to college. Please don’t keep me exiled any longer. Please bring me home.
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:
- Sign the DREAM Act Petition
- Join the DREAM Act Facebook Cause
- Send a fax in support of the DREAM Act
- Call your Senator and ask them to pass the DREAM Act now.
- 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)
Ivan Nikolov (11 August 2010)
Yves Gomes (16 August 2010)
Selvin Arevalo (18 August 2010)
Weekly Recap – Latino, LGBT, Migrant Youth, and Progressive Bloggers Lead For the DREAM Act (20 August 2010)
Carlos A. Roa, Jr. (23 August 2010)
Myrna Orozco (25 August 2010)
Lizbeth Mateo (30 August 2010)