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."