“I woke up today with everything my friend tells me I take for granted. I’m applying for FAFSA today, becasue I have a SSN. But my friend isn’t. I drove to school today, because I have a licence. But my friend rode the bus. I’m taking a plane to see my famlilly, because I have a passport. But my friend will have someone drive her there. In a few years from now I’ll be able to get a job. But my friend won’t. So what don’t I have that she does. FEAR! Fear of deportation, fear of what comes after college, and fear that her dreams still won’t come true. Why? Because the DREAM did NOT pass!”
Whats left to do and what comes next? It it still within reach or is all hope lost?
These are just some of the few questions many undocumented college and high school students are asking themselves now. & it matters, for everyone!
And this past December 2010 the DREAM Act, that would have granted undocumented youth (students) a conditional path to citizenship, was KILLED in the Senate.
But lets not get to far ahead. What is the DREAM Act exactly?
DREAM stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act and the eligibility criteria for the Act includes:
“1. The alien has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding the date of enactment of this Act, and had not yet reached the age of 16 years at the time of initial entry
2.The alien has been a person of good moral character since the time of application
3.The alien, at the time of application, has been admitted to an institution of higher education in the United States, or has earned a high school diploma or obtained a general education development certificate in the United States
4. The alien has never been under a final administrative or judicial order of exclusion, deportation, or removal
5. The alien had not yet reached the age of 35 years on the date of the enactment of this Act”
Within the term of this act many undocumented students would have been given 6 years towards a path to citizenship and permission to legally serve a country they call “home.” Exactly ”home,” because many came at a young age, and others can’t even remember their birthland.
Dreams were shattered and many were left in tears; the Act did not pass!
The keynote to address here, is not that they want to take the jobs of Americans or obtain a licence, but rather to obtain full right to a land they know as home. A home that has deprived them of many rights for years. A home where they aren’t accepted because their birth certificate claims home to be another country.
And where are they now? They are they still here. They are the Pedro Ramirez , they are the Beleza Chan, and many other students fighting to obtain legality in a country they know to be ”home” and looking on to the future for something to come. And the movement is NOT over. They still have questions waiting to be answered and won’t stand still until they obtain something they claim to be rightfully theirs.