Saturday, December 12, 2009

Why I dream of change

I'm Puerto Rican, so I can't call myself an immigrant. But I have lived as an immigrant abroad, I have been the other , the outsider looking in, and know very well how hard it is, getting used to life in a place where everything is strange. Picture how many more magnitudes of difficulty are involved then when your hands are tied by a lack of papers.
I've had the pleasure and the privilege to meet and befriend people from many different countries and from all walks of life, and through their stories I was educated to the reality just how difficult it can be to immigrate to the US. I thought i had heard it all: the endless waiting, the requests for document after document, the ridiculously convoluted rules, the fees, the crooked lawyers that stiff you out of your savings and produce no results. Yet was has fired me up the most is the plight of the undocumented students brought here as children or infants. The fact that you could grow up, go to school and strive for excellence and to get to the top and then have your life come to a dead screeching halt seemed surreal. But its all too true for thousands of youths across the land. Motto schooled me in his reality, and introduced me to many other students, who like himself, are high achieving, hard working, and have defied huge odds to become budding community leaders. It is that drive, that spirit to not only improve their personal situation but to change things for the better, ensuring that no one has to run the rat maze of obstacles with which they have been forced to deal that inspired me to become actively involved in the push for immigration reform. I refuse to stand by and do nothing while the gifts and talents of people who have enriched their communities and schools, who have shown so much promise, go to waste. I can't stand the racists and bald opportunists who rant about "criminal"and "illegal" when the topic of immigration is discussed and whose only solution is "deport them all!". They have absolutely no clue about the sacrifices, fear, worries, and hardships that have been surmounted by Dreamers and their families. I don't want to see one more family torn apart, or see any more Dreamers placed under the threat of what amount to exile.
This process has not been without personal cost. My family disdains politics, looks askance at my activism, and is pessimistic about the effects of our campaigns, they are offended by the buttons and the t-shirts; they've gone as far as to try and curtail the extent of my involvement. It is hard going when your allegiances are questioned. But I take my inspiration from each victory, whether large or small, and from the amazing tireless pro migrant community. And most of all, from all the Dreamers. They keep me going.
And this keeps me going too.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Adios Lou Dobbs

After months of relentless campaigning by's Bastadobbs and we can finally claim victory. In what was a completely unforeseen move and after months of escalating conflict within the network, Lou Dobbs announced yesterday evening that he was leaving CNN for greener pastures.

Click to watch.

Although there was a joyous celebration yesterday throughout the pro-migrant community we should not breathe a sigh of relief just yet. It is a definite triumph that we were able to prevail over a huge network like CNN. But sadly I don't think good ol' Leprosy Lou is quite done selling his oh so special brand of anti immigrant hate. If you have time you want to waste you can read the transcript of this address here
He is clearly hinting at future plans of "active advocacy". NPR's All Things Considered mulls about the possible reasons behind his ouster and the direction he might take. Not an enormous stretch since we know he has close ties to the far right wingnut groups, i.e. birthers, FAIR, et. al. , and they thirst for the credibility they (misguidedly) believe he might grant.
Definitely we should celebrate.But we should take advantage of the momentum built and the lessons learned and pull together and use to propagate positive information about the need for immigration reform. And I predict CNN will be giving Latinos in America endless replay, to make up for the viewers they lost during the Drop Dobbs campaign.
I hope we can figure out a way to make that work for us. And Lou?
I'ma be watching out for you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remembering Marcelo Lucero

His last name means star. By all accounts he was a quiet, hardworking man, younger looking then his real age of 37. But his light has been snuffed out. Most of a year has gone by since Marcelo was viciously murdered by seven young men for no other reason other than the color of his skin,and his being Hispanic. In what is supposed to be a safe suburb.
In America.
"Why? How can it be?" some have exclaimed. Others will question the upbringing and background of his killers, blame the parents , blame the schools,wring their hands, blame the system.
They will all be wrong.
This happened because we let it happened. This is the America that is emerging, because we do not stand up and hold accountable those who have fostered this climate of suspicion and blame and hate. Where seven bored kids can feel free to hunt down another human being and beat and stab him to death. Where a county executive has no qualms dismissing a heinous murder as a "one time event" while adopting policies that foster hatred towards immigrants.
One of his killers has seen fit to plead guilty to his crime. But Patchogue County, NY still does not feel like a safe place for its Hispanic residents. Or a welcoming one.
We need to change our ways, America.
If you do nothing, if you do not speak up, Marcelo's life is rendered meaningless.
And you stand with the haters and the killers.
Speak up. Act now.
Remember Marcelo.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Reaction

I have been appalled at the quantity of vitriol and misinformation that is apparent in all media outlets regarding the efforts to increase support for DREAM Act and immigration reform. Not surprised, mind you, but sincerely taken aback. I know it is common practice to blame others for whatever current wrong ails the country, especially if those others speak funny and look different. Common, and ignorant, yet has not stopped us from committing that particular wrong time and again throughout our history.
Every single immigrant group has been a target for discrimination and outright abuse, condoned by our government. From the 19th century to the present there has been public and active opposition to each successive incoming group. We had anti Germans, anti Irish, anti Chinese, anti Italian, anti Polish, anti Jews, anti Japanese groups. Yet as a nation we overcame those nativist fits and those groups are now firmly part of the American melting pot. This latest and virulent outpouring of anti immigration hate represents ( I hope) another growing pain for our nation.

All the arguments commonly employed against immigration fail miserably when used against students who stand to benefit from the DREAM Act. They speak the language and are clearly assimilated and have amply proven their ability and resourcefulness. No services and education were "stolen" as some anti groups claim- they improve the economy since they spend money on products and services just like everybody else, and property, state and federal income taxes have been paid by the majority.Rather the reverse holds true as services funded have NOT been used.And DREAMers do not take employment away rather they increase the quality of the workforce by raising the bar.

Instead of closing your minds against the thousands of students that through no fault or choice of their own find themselves in this undocumented limbo, please understand the issue at hand.DREAM students may not have been born in the US but they are as thoroughly American as any born citizen. Their achievements in the face of adversity embody the American spirit and are worthy of admiration.

Imagine for a minute being ripped from your home and dropped in a place you may not even have a memory of, where you may only know the rudiments of the language,where you have no resources or support. If we saw the story of a young American stranded in these conditions we would demand immediate rescue. Yet those of you that stand in pig headed righteousness, screaming Illegal is ILLEGAL! SEND THEM BACK! are calling to do exactly that- EXILE young Americans. They are raised and educated and lived AS AMERICANS. And they are acting upon they values they have absorbed. Fighting for what is just and fair and morally right and to not give up. Is that not the quality of citizen you want working to improve our nation? Or do you prefer the kind that sits around and whines about how bad things are and looks for scapegoats?

By disenfranchising DREAMers and barring access to full integration we are cheating ourselves out of their abilities and education and throwing away the investment we've already made. We lose thousands that could be hardworking full contributors to our society. The human cost alone is entirely unbearable and unacceptable
The DREAM Act is a fair and humane way to both correct one of the many dysfunctionalities in the broken immigration system and would allow us to reap the immense promise and ability these students represent. PASS THE DREAM ACT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Waiting and hoping

Waiting,hoping,waiting. Living in the paperless shadows must be like spending time in hell's waiting room. The endless waiting is bad, but what lies on the other side of the door is so many times worse. You try to distract yourself. You may even succeed for a little while. But in the back of your head that clock is ticking away.
There have been some good news. But after some very important victories at the beginning of the summer,and in direct contradiction to President Obama's previous promises, now comes the news that Immigration reform may be delayed. WHAT?! So I spend ages try to scrounge up every last bit of information available on DREAM and CIR and glean some positive feeling from it despite the bulk of what s available being negative nativist and just plain ignorant. Which wonk is right? Who is most correctly predicting what will come? Am I doing enough? Am I being loud enough? Have I contacted enough relevant people? Who else can I involve that will kickstart the reform movement to the forefront? Working on those answers.
And meanwhile daily life drags on. With all its petty concerns draining what little energy and patience I may have left.I am not complaining, don't get me wrong. I'm very aware of the privileges available to people like me. What grates is the fact that the extreme effort and hard work of others, who have earned those privileges ten times over, goes unrewarded, and is ignored and belittled.
But right now,while waiting on bureaucrats to make a decision that will change the course of one life, the waiting consumes me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

[VIDEO] Without Papers, Looking for a Future


A 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Ecuador discusses the obstacles she has faced in the United States while trying building a life without citizenship.

Friday, April 24, 2009

S.W.E.R. Town Hall Meeting for Dream

April 13th SWER (Students Working for Equal Rights) hosted an outstanding Town Hall meeting in the Wolfson campus of MD College. Over 120 attendees listened to presentations that went from MDC administrators and student government representatives to community representatives, all declaring their strong support For DREAM Act.
Even more moving were the personal stories shared by several Dreamers in the audience. It was a deeply affecting to the rest of the attendees to judge by the numerous comments they shared. We NEED more of these events that not only educate our peer citizens about DREAM but also put a real human face on what each DREAMer has had to overcome, the personal cost of living a half life and waiting in limbo. This is in my opinion the best way to counteract the opposition, when they attempt to label dream students as criminals, or dehumanize us as just numbers. If our peers can relate to our experience they will then become supporters. In this way we create a personal stake in each of those supporters, and ensure their commitment and efforts towards enactment of DREAM Act.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tom Tancredo faces DREAM protesters

I guess Mr. Tancredo got some rowdy visitors during his anti-illegal/DREAM opposing speech. Serves him right, however nobody here at LIFE BY DREAM condones any sort of radical, violent, illegal behavior in any way/shape/form.

"The scheduled talk by former Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Tuesday night was cut very short by raucous, angry student protesters."

"The night's only moment of calm followed. Tancredo offered to listen to students' protests, if they would listen to him, and then began to discuss his views on higher education and illegal immigrants. Tancredo said he had been invited to speak in opposition to the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act, proposed federal legislation that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to gain citizenship through college education or military service.

A student group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC) invited Tancredo to speak at UNC-CH. Riley Matheson, the senior who started the Chapel Hill chapter of YWC, attempted to introduce Tancredo, but was largely drowned out by the crowd.

"You believe in white people's superiority, you fuck!" one student shouted, to cheers.

Tancredo ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 on an admittedly single-issue platform: Stopping illegal immigration. While in Congress, Tancredo—the grandson of Italian immigrants—introduced the Mass Immigration Reduction Act, which would have placed a moratorium on all immigration, legal or otherwise, into the U.S., except for family members of current citizens."

"UNC-CH junior Rupert Campbell, one of the protest's organizers, walked through the crowd, handing out anti-YWC flyers.

"Free speech is laudable to the extent that hate speech isn't part of it," he said. Campbell, who compared YWC to the Hitler Youth movement in pre-World War II Germany, said the protest wasn't necessarily organized to drown Tancredo out. "We just wanted to make our voices heard. We wanted to raise awareness of equality."

Monday, April 6, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

A couple of days ago, I went with Motto to renew his driver's license.

A rite of passage that for the majority of the population is painless but for him has turned into a yearly ordeal. Mind you, we had everything in order and in triplicate. The only things missing was the proverbial pound of flesh and pint of blood. Everything in order and in a folder!

We waited in line made small talk until it was his turn. With some trepidation, he hands his paperwork over, only to be told "your paperwork is too old, you need something less than three years old". And therein lies the problem. Thanks to a system that is as dysfunctional as it is slow and erratic there is no way to obtain more current paperwork. He is stuck in limbo, with a bright future almost within reach and a lack of current ID can snatch it away just when years of hard work and dedication are about to pay off.

Thanks to our lovely home state's penchant for getting in line with the past administration's every idiotic new measure, in this case Real ID, thousands of law abiding, hard working people, not just immigrants, are having a hard time renewing driver's license.


We live here own property pay taxes volunteer and work to improve our communities. We work hard we excel we try to shine. We play by the rules even the unfair and unwritten ones. We jump through every hoop and and beat the odds and surmount every obstacle. And still still the game is fixed and the dice are weighted, and not in our favor.

Its almost as if the powers that be are conspiring to create a self fulfilling prophecy. If you tell a person or a child often enough long enough that they can't and must only act this way, you can eventually force that outcome. Except that in this case the outcome is meant to be detrimental. Hysterical given the fact that while my law abiding straight arrow friend is attempting to follow the rules there's all manner of chicanery taking place right outside the DMV.

We won't be dissuaded. We 'll keep trying and we are going to play by your unfair rules. And we are going to beat you fair and square.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

One laugh, Two laughs

So the white men and the Indians lived in harmony from there on huh?!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An odd endorsement?

The irony in this still baffles me.
As stated on DREAM Activist, Chris is by means no hero. However, he does seem to comprehend the basis of the DREAM Act.

If you still find this hard to believe, don't take my word for it. Here is adirect quote from Mr. Simcox (Yes, the co-founder of the Minutemen himself stated this) and the link to the article:

"They need to be brought out of the shadows. They need to be documented and swear an oath to become a citizen,” he said. “If they do that, then by all means they deserve the opportunity that anyone else has.”

I guess we ought to say, thanks?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

USSA- LegCon '09

Our report from this years LegCon hosted by the United States Student Association is up at DREAM Activist's main website!

“You alongside all of the students who are present here today truly put a face to the issue, we need more activist like you; young people, to be here on the hill and meet with us, so that everyone may see who these issues truly affect. Continue your efforts, and please call us directly, you would not believe what nasty calls we get from time to time from lobbyist and opposition to either of the measures we discussed today.”

Show us some love!

Oh and here is a little something, something from the event!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The DREAM Act is re-born.

The DREAM Act has been reintroduced!

And what a press coverage it has received, from both sides of the argument there have been several emerging articles that have promoted and demonized the DREAM Act.

The current status of both House and Senate versions has been made available to all reader on the information bar, and the "Current Projects" section has also been updated!

Here are some of our most visited headlines:

Recurring DREAM back in Congress

DREAM Act Reintroduced In Senate
DREAM ACT Reintroduced In Both Chambers

Not to mention the blogosphere has been plagued with several reviews, opinions, testimonials, about the DREAM Act's introduction.

More distinguished post so far has been that made by Kyle over at CitizenOrange, in which he dictated 5 actions on how to help the DREAM Act:

1. CALL - The National Council of La Raza has a page to help you call your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.

2. FAX - America's Voice has a page to help you fax your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.

3. EMAIL - has a page to help you email your congressional representatives in support of the DREAM Act.

4. PETITION - has the official petition in support of the DREAM Act.

5. TEXT - Text "Justice" ("Justicia" for Spanish) to 69866 to be the first to know when the DREAM Act is introduced. FIRM's Mobile Action Network is an excellent way to stay connected and have maximum impact at just the right moment.

Here at LIFE BY DREAM would like to thank Kyle for his hard work and dedication on the issue, as he is one of the most invaluable members of our activist bubble. His determination only bleeds orange as he has written several articles where he defends the DREAM Act, and gives comprehensive articles that depict the benefits of this legislature.

It is without a doubt that his article struck some positive chords, as AlterNet (one of the largest online magazine) published Kyle's Pass the DREAM Act for Future Economic Prosperity: A Comprehensive Argument.
The moral argument for the DREAM Act is simple. The only people who cannot see it are those who refuse to recognize unauthorized migrants as humans. That's why any article that humanizes migrants is always quickly filled with vicious nativist hate in the comments section.

BRAVO Kyle! Nobody could have put it better.
These are exciting times ladies and gentlemen, as our drums continue to resonate, we slowly but surely move forward.

Please take some time to visit all of the links covered in this post, as you can discover plenty of valuable information of the recent developments about the DREAM Act.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


From Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) Office:

I applaud Sen. Durbin for standing up once more for an idea that economically benefits our nation and that is smart and fair.

I once met a young woman in Lyon County, Nevada, who was brought to the United States at a very young age and had been here since she could remember. She was the smartest girl in her class and wanted to go to college, but had no options because she had no legal immigration status. Her potential was probably not realized and our country lost the contribution this smart young woman could have made to our economy and her community.

For many of these young people, America is the only homeland they know. Giving them the opportunity to educate themselves, or to defend our country, is good for them and for our nation. This law would grant these children temporary status while they go to college or serve in the Armed Forces. If they graduate or serve honorably, and stay out of trouble, they would be eligible for a green card and eventually for citizenship.

This bill is one step in fixing our broken immigration system. We need comprehensive reform that is tough, fair and practical. We need to secure our northern and southern borders; we need to ensure that every work has legal authorization to work; and we need to require the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country to come out of the shadows, register with the government and apply for legal status, pay taxes and fines, learn English, and stay out of trouble.

The DREAM Act is a very important first step. I thank Sen. Durbin for his work on this important piece of legislation, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for it in the Senate.
Harry Reid (26 March 2009)
And so there you have it folks!
Today we were able to witness what a strong will power, and how much support we have behind us this time around.

The DREAM Act has finally been introduced in this session of Congress, and I assure you that the efforts will keep pushing for its enactment this time around as well. There have been countless efforts, and sleepless nights from many DREAM advocates who have made this possible; at this time, I would like to thank each and everyone one of you who have made this possible.

It is because of all our our DREAMs, hopes, and fighting spirits that we are able to put a face and voice to the issue.

As usual, MD and myself will continue to supply our readers with the latest information as to any new developments that come in the next days.

Thanks to all the advocates, activists, organizations, Senators and Representatives alike who have given their full commitment and support to the issue. There ought to be a list that names each and everyone of of you, but you know who you are and deep down inside I thank you.


Ladies and Gents, today IS the DAY!
As per DREAMACTIVIST.ORG the DREAM Act is set to be introduced today!


Ask everyone you know to call into Congress in support of the DREAM Act.

Dial 202-224-3121 to be connected to your member of Congress and say something similar to the following:

"Hi! My name is ____________ and I am a student at the (your campus) and a voter in your district. I am calling in conjunction with students from across the country to urge our elected officials to support the DREAM Act amendment to expand access to higher education for high school graduates who were brought to the U.S. years ago as undocumented children. I support the DREAM Act because it will increase opportunities for 360,000 qualified high school graduates who are currently denied their dream to an education.

Can I count on _(Elected Official’s Name)__ to support the DREAM Act in this session of congress? Thank you for your time and I look forward to your support."

To find out the names of your Congressmen, go here

and type your zip code in the box. Remember if you live away from home while in school you have more than one zip code to use.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bringing the DREAM to the Hill

This past weekend I had the privilege to meet many of this country's best and brightest, in the heart of our nation. Many fellow Dreamers made the trip to DC and shared their stories and efforts with students from all over the US. It was inspiring to see so many young, vital people intent on bringing to the attention of our country's leaders the importance of DREAM act, and uplifting to see how many came forward and committed to helping make DREAM a reality.

I had the opportunity to visit the DC offices of several of our Congressmen and -women, and I am happy to report that they were all supportive of DA. However that was not the experience for all the students participation on this Lobby Day. We need to maintain all the alliances forged during this fabulous weekend and solidify support especially in those states where the leadership is resistant to enactment of DREAM Act. Please check in often as we ll be posting alerts on all the actions taking place in order to disseminate information and have maximum positive impact. Again, many thanks to USSA leadership for choosing to promote DREAM Act during this year's LegCon.

ACTION ALERT: Ask President Barack Obama About the FEDERAL Dream Act!

Currently the White house is taking questions pertaining to the economy and other aspects, that are to be voted according to popularity. Currently there are 14 questions that address the passage of the Federal Dream Act.

Please do take a minute of your time (registration is LITERALLY seconds) and vote for the Dream Act questions.

Ask President Obama a Question

Go ahead. Create an Account. Log In. Click on the Search Bar and type Dream Act. Vote yes (check).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

America's Voice= 1 Arpaio = 0


I received this email today, thanks to everyone who signed the petition and followed closely.

While this is in fact a great accomplishment, we must not forget that fight continues on to make Arpaio and others like him accountable for their actions.

Clip from email received From America's Voice (click here for coverage on their site)
Dear Friend --
I just got back from Capitol Hill - and I had to share this with you right away.
Remember when we asked you to help us reach our goal of 10,000 signatures to investigate Sheriff Joe Arpaio? Well, yesterday the Department of Justice sent a letter to Arpaio, informing him that they would be investigating!
Here is one of the best sarcastic if not comically under-toned editorials I have read in a while.

Now, I don't presume for you to be all knowing. But the issue at hand is a growing one and does need to be corrected in the near future.

So... for simplicity sake if you are clueless of about the issue still, please do read this article.

Griego: Immigration 101 might change minds
By Tina Griego
The Denver Post

This, by far, is the most common question I received: "Why haven't they just applied for citizenship?"

The question presumes that presented with the choice of becoming a legal resident or remaining an illegal immigrant, these students have chosen the latter.

No such choice exists.

Young people who are here illegally cannot saunter into their local immigration office and say, "All right, I'm tired of being an illegal immigrant. Let's do this citizenship thing."

Oh, and within the article you may find a little surprise ;)

The DREAM Act is expected to be introduced in the House in
about two weeks.

Monday, March 9, 2009

More Support From CA.

Supporters rally for DREAM Act
Julienne Lauler (Contact)
Published: Monday, March 9, 2009

Although Obama still has not replied to the letter, hope for immigration
reform might be on the horizon, according to various members of the UCLA
community, including the director of the UCLA Downtown Labor Center, Kent

“We now have a president who has publicly stated his support for the
DREAM Act. Also, we have a larger Democratic base in Congress. So I think this
year, above any other, we have the best chance of passing the DREAM Act,”
Wong said.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More on Juan Gomez

Juan G.
Someone up there must really, really like you my friend.

Deportation Reprieve Extended for two Miami Brothers
U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., on Tuesday filed what's called a private bill on their behalf to keep them in the country through 2011. Two years ago, Dodd and U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, filed similar bills, but they expired last year. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had scheduled to deport them to Colombia on March 15 .
Colombian Brothers Juan and Alex Gomez avoid deportation -- again
Immigration advocates said the bills stave off a planned March 15 deportation. And it gives them more time to push for passage of the Dream Act, a bill that would offer students who grew up in the United States a path to legal residency.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

NYT knows what's up!

This editorial proves [as if other articles haven't already] that the New York Times does have a clear picture on what is going on within the immigration system within the country.

We are still within the first 100 days of the Obama administration. Let us be proven wrong and shown that the Dream Act and other forms of immigration reforms, as small as they maybe, can be actually done right here, right now.
Who’s Running Immigration?
Published: March 3, 2009

Americans who might applaud any crackdown on illegal immigrants, particularly in a recession, should know that scattershot raids and rampaging sheriffs are not the answer. The idea that enforcement alone will eliminate the underground economy is a great delusion. It runs up against the impossible arithmetic of mass expulsion — no conceivable regime of raids will wrench 12 million illegal immigrants from their jobs and homes.
Thanks to DREAMACT TEXAS for the great article.

Oh, and here's a funny:

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

Camila: An update

Camila Hornung, a featured Dream student who was an honor student at Florida State University, was deported to Peru along with her parents on June 2008, despite concerted efforts by friends and family as well as local government representatives. She recently sat down with us to recount for us her experiences in the US and give us an update of her life today.

Camila Hornung, thank you for taking a few minutes of your time to sit down with me. I would like to ask you some questions in regards to your experience in the United States and your immigration case. Could you briefly describe how and why you came to the United States?

Well my parents made the decision to take my sister and me to the United States on May 6, 1996, because the situation in Peru was very chaotic. We arrived with a tourist visa. Once we were in the US, we applied for political asylum, this gave us legal status.

And for how long were you in this legal process?

Until we were given the final order of deportation in December 2002.

Ok, just verified, August 2003
Was there any at any moment an opportunity for you and your sister to modify your status? Given, I presume that you both were active members of the community?

Not at all. Once we were given the order of deportation that ruined any chance of being able to modify our status. Although there could have been other things that could have helped. One being the Dream Act and possibly immigration reform.

Did your family try to modify their status at any time during your stay in the United States?

We had pending political asylum. We were always in the hopes of an immigration reform. My parents petitioned until no other possibilities were left to keep our legal status until it was denied.

Tell me Camila, what were your goals, aspirations, and hopes for the future while in the United States?

Most definitely, they still are there,but they have been put on hold since my deportation.

Tell me about how you went to school applied for and won scholarships. What major did you want to pursue, what were your hopes for your life here.

Ok, well I applied to Florida State University with the very little I had, my social security number and what not. I also had Florida Bright Futures and prepaid college that my parents paid throughout the years with their hard work. I was a business student at FSU and wanted to major in International Business. I never planned for my life to be anywhere else than in the United States. My life plan was basically to go to school, pursue my career and live my life there.
And now you find yourself on hold. Do you plan to return to the United States at any point?

Of course! That ‘s where my life is and I plan to return to normal some day. Go back with my family and friends and continue my studies.

So the 10 year ban has not affected your dreams of returning at all?

No, patience is crucial at this point.

That is a very admirable characteristic. Something, I may add, I do not have myself.

All aside, can you recall the events of the day you got detained?

How were you guys treated, and what type of process did you endure?

It's something I think about everyday, the worst day of my life aside from the day I got deported. It was just like any normal day, my parents and I were going to the library when an undercover cop pulled us over right near the corner of our house. There he handcuffed my dad as if he were a criminal (that was definitely the hardest part for me). From there the ICE police offers had no consideration towards us and took us to the Broward detention center. The conditions were that of criminals, words cannot describe what I went through. I did not do anything to deserve that treatment. At the detention center our personal belongings, cell phones and our human rights were taken from us. At that point we were viewed as criminals. My father was separated from my mother and I and taken to the men's side. My mother and I were forbidden to speak to my father if for some reason we crossed paths. My father was forced to wear an orange uniform and my mother and I were given used clothes to wear. It was definitely degrading and humiliating having to experience the life of a criminal.

How long did you stay at the detention center?

From June 9th to June13th

And from there what happened?

June 13th we were deported to Peru unexpectedly, without any warning. They just grabbed the three of us and told us to get into this jail van and did not tell us where we were going. Once I saw the sign for the "airport", I knew it was over.

Did any organization try to aid in your cause? What happened to your sister?

Well as you know Nora Sandigo made her best efforts to help me as well as Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. My sister, Luciana made the decision of returning to Peru because it was too difficult for her to stand being alone after everything that happened.

Have you been affected psychologically or traumatized from the experience?

I have trouble sleeping; all I can think about sometimes is just going back to my life.
I don't mean to sound too dramatic. But it's true

Please do tell

Yeah, just basically the situation takes over most of the time and it's all I can think about at times.

Anything else you’d like to add to the readers out there? Any advice for the Dreamers?

I would like my story to teach others about the current immigration situation in the country and that something must be done about it. And to the Dreamers, just to not give up "Patience is the greatest of all virtues."

Thank you Camila

You're welcome, thank you!!
We at Life by Dream thank Camila for her time and her willingness to share her story with the rest of us. Her patience and positive attitude as well as her message of hope is an inspiration to all.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Amazing huh?
Who would have ever guessed that something so big, highly popular, and very well regarded by our current population as being crafted by the hands of an immigrant?

AMERICAN APPAREL is a success story that demonstrates what potential some individuals hold within themselves, and are just waiting for that opportunity to paint it all over the world.

Its creator Dov Charney is highly spirited and involved with pro-migrant rights.

Here's a bit from an article published by the NPR, hit the link for the full article:

American Apparel, an Immigrant Success Story
"Immigrants are the engine of our economy, whether we want to admit it or not," he says. "They're here, legal or illegal -- [a] fundamental part of the economy is these workers."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Here we GROW!

Always be thankful of those who are willing to lend a hand.

Life by Dream is pleased to announce a new addition to its team.
Meet ManosDoradas, a well informed-willing activist and dear friend of mine, to whom I owe many thanks for constant attention, support, advice, and care.

Manosdoradas (MD); alongside myself, will continue to deliver contributions, articles, opinions, and current immigration issues, in addition to lobbying efforts to have the federal DREAM Act enacted as soon as possible.

I am confident on MD's ability to contribute to the blog. Hard-work, dedication, and a fire-fueled spirit up make this Puerto-Rican native one of the most qualified individuals to aide in the maintenance of Life by Dream.

Surely you will enjoy her blogs as she has much to bring to the table. It is my pleasure to have MD as a fellow author, but most importantly as a friend in my life.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Outside looking In

Remember Juan Gomez? Last year it looked like he had it made. A private bill made it possible for him and his brother Alex to legally stay in the US. He received acceptance and a full scholarship renowned Ivy League school. Yet less than one year later, everything is up in the air again. By any measure, he would be considered an asset. He’s proven his worth by doing brilliantly in Georgetown (Georgetown! for God’s sake!) Yet he languishes unable to even plan his summer. It is a crying shame that Juan now has to face such an uncertain future after overcoming so many obstacles and losing his parents for the foreseeable future. We need to circulate his story as well as that of the many people in the same situation. Because to let all that talent, all that drive and passion slip through our collective grasp and be wasted is the biggest shame of all.


Each week, the possibility of getting deported looms larger. Juan can no longer block it from his mind so easily. "If I have this deadline that's going to come up in some form or another, it's not like I can look that far ahead into the future," he says.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


America's Voice

Monday, February 2, 2009

Deport all parents?

A couple days back an article was published on South Florida's Newspaper The Sun-Sentinel (Broward County) with the following title:

The article describes the story of Cecia, 12, and Ronald Jr., 9 who are among the thousands of children who are born in the U.S as citizens but find themselves with undocumented parents who often end up deported, tearing their family to chunks. Hit the Link for the Full Article.
Here at Life by Dream, I find it difficult to believe that these families are torn without any sort of remedy at all. What would be more horrible than being separated from your own child for an unknowingly long period of time? Better yet, why are these children to be punished? As U.S. citizens shouldn't they at least have a shot to fix their broken family?
According to the comments left on this article, they don't.
More or less, they should be treated as criminals, stripped of their U.S. citizenship and sent back home with their illegal parents.
Does this show any kind of rationale, or morale?
Where have the American values gone?
How do we continue to plague ourselves of Xenophobia and hated to wards all immigrants?
Common misconceptions/stereotypes against immigrant groups:
  • All "Illegal" Immigrants do not pay taxes.
  • All "Illegal" Immigrants come to the U.S. to turn it into a third world country.
  • All "Illegal" Immigrants are Hispanic.
  • All "Illegal" Immigrants do not contribute a dime to society.
  • All "Illegal" Immigrants are lazy

For the record the list does not stop there.
Let it be known that immigrants do contribute to society against all stereotypes, and yes they do come in all shapes and sizes. As for illegal immigration, the trends are regressing and illegal immigration is slowing down.

Here are some of the comments on that article.
It saddening how opinions and views of a person may change by simply applying the peel and stick label of "illegal alien" over their foreheads without any sort of discussion or knowledge of who the person is, more or less what he/she is capable of

This isn't your country and it never will be, s***. You come here unwanted
and uninvited to leech off the American taxpayer and turn the US into a
Third World s***hole like your homeland. No matter how many of your
illiterate relatives you drag over, no matter how many totally uneducable anchor spawn you dump out there are alot more of us than there are of you. And we can subtract alot faster than you can add.

No Way! Send them and their kids back where they came from! They broke the
LAW by coming here and overstaying their visas. Get them out of MY country NOW!

The anchor babies should be stripped of their citizenship also. The parents
came hear with imntention to thumb their noses at our system and do it the way
the wanted. They undercut wages of the rest of the work force and now we have a
big mess. Sorry kiddees, your parents broke the law and that does not give you a
free pass!!!

I wonder if these nativists consider people "illegal aliens" even after they fell out of status due to the broken immigration system that the U.S. currently has. Please do feel free to leave you pro-migrant comments under the article, in order to shed light on this issue.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


A professor at FIU is conducting a survey which aims to take in opinions from undocumented High School students in order to perhaps provide a better service for them in a foreseeable future.

Hit the link to take the Survey.

Thanks to SWER for providing the info.
Note: FIU is located in Florida.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Over at Latin Lingo Clothing, they begun printing of Dream Act support T-Shirts.
I got mine in today, when will you get yours ;]

A percentage of proceeds from this shirt will be donated to Dreams To Be Heard!!!!


1. We got ourselves attention from the Media over in UNIVISION in California:

2. E- Verify + Stimulus Package = BAD IDEA

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is suing the federal government to stop its expansion of a program that seeks to verify whether employees are legally allowed to work in the country.
"This massive expansion of E-Verify is not only bad policy, it’s unlawful," said Robin Conrad, executive vice president for the Chamber's public policy law firm.

My two cents in this E-Verify program would be that not only would it harm immigrants, but it has been known to not be error proof. This could mean that yes, some NO MATCH letters could be sent to employers regarding their undocumented workers; but, some U.S. citizens could get a NO MATCH letter as well due to the error gap the E-VERIFY system has within it.

Thanks to our friends over at DREAM ACT TEXAS for the post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20th

Monday, January 19, 2009


Here a developing film that was brought to my attention by icewood313 over at the DAP.
The link to the main site can be found here.

Another film that has sparked interest is the upcoming An Unfinished Dream:

Coming 2009!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Going back 'Home'

The Dream Act idea is currently at 18th place within the rankings of
Several of you have already signed up to promote the idea wether it be by Facebook, word of mouth, even you own blogs. Remember that we only have until January 15th to get ourselves within the top 10 ideas, so please get out there and vote!
I would like to remind everyone that my blog, DA.ORG, and even myself have no relation with any action or views that the DAP Forum may be taking towards this movement.

On the right hand side of this blog you can also find a link to petition to get Joe Arpaio off the air.
The show has already launched on on FOX Reality Channel, and we urge everyone that since Sheriff Joe will be on Conan O'Brien tongiht to call this number and protest.
Here is the number: +1-212-664-4444
Please give them a piece of your mind.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I am torn by Gov. Richardson's drop from his nomination to Secretary of Commerce, he was a model Latino pick in Obama's cabinet. Let's just wait and see what the FBI digs up from him, I guess Obama will need to find another pick for the post which shouldn't be too hard to find.

Lately, I have been down.
While my efforts and work are 100% on track, and I'm more than fueled to progress with our movement I can't help to think that I'm torn in half.
My disposition for making things right is probably the only side of me that is sane. While emotionally I am a train wreck.
I can't help to think sometimes I plague others with my politic speeches, my worries, troubles, insecurities, etc.
Do I bother so much that people begin to despise me?
Or is it simply that I'm so wrapped up in this that I am blind from everything else that is occurring around me?
Whatever this feeling is, let me assure you the reader that it shall pass.
One way or another. Excuse me for the rant.

CHANGE.ORG has re-opened for round two of voting.
So far, we have gathered a nice number of votes within the first day, but rest assure that IT WILL KEEP GROWING as time passes.
DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE, use the widget on this page to make sure you cast your vote on the top 3 ideas on immigration and any others you may consider as the best ideas to be presented to the Obama Administration.
We have less than 10 days before the January 15th deadline to gather as much support as we possibly can!

There will be another call soon for your help, so please keep posted as there are many many many more things to come.

Here is a funny since I have not kept up with you, sorry for being so lazy; I guess I have just been really busy these past couple days:

Click and zoom in to appreciate the truthfulness of this chart.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Start Your Engines...


I'm sure that by now most of you (if not all of you) are sitting at home, stuffed with food, tired from partying last night, and plan to start the year on a new note.
That is all great and everything; yet, let's begin with some news.

As of last night, has closed its polling for the TOP 10 IDEAS FOR AMERICA.
Let me begin by congratulating and thanking all of those out there who made an effort and not only voted for the DREAM Act as one of the top 10 Ideas, but propagated the word and made it known that we want this piece of legislation passed in order to bring the Change we crave from the Obama administration to America.

In the last hours we managed to rake in over 400 new votes!
Catapulting us to 8th place after a lag, and keeping us at the number ONE spot in the immigration section of the website.
So take this time to sit back and celebrate, but don't get too comfortable.

Our opposition is second place right behind us, and they, like us are trying to rake up as many vote as they can for the next round as well.

The new voting beings on January 5th, this time around we have only ten days to make sure the DREAM Act stay on top like its supposed to. Please, take a day to rest, but do not forget that our task is right in front of us and that we need every vote we can in order to keep pushing this movement forward. Have all your friends, family, acquaintances vote for our cause, explain to them what it means and how beneficial it is to this nation and I am more than sure that they will advocates to their inner circles as well.

Feel free to vote on any of these two ideas and defeat our opposition!

Equal Immigration Rights for same sex binational couples

Pass the DREAM Act Now!


Happy New Years!