Sunday, May 23, 2010


Later today, Tam will be laid to rest in her home, California and although i can't physically be there, my heart is with her. This week i have been thinking of the conversations that we had in the past.

Last year in while in DC we were walking out of the train station when she rushed up to me and said... 'I was thinking of a video library for DREAM Act videos we have done, I'm taking a class right now where they are teaching us about that." She was always so curious, she listened, she looked at you in the eyes.. although she had a quietness about her, she always intrigued me because i knew that she had a lot more going on in her mind. Tam was always working in her mind, she was able to take advantage of everything she had learned to apply it to DREAM one way or the other. I had never met a more resourceful person until i met her. One time she told me about how she had been able to get some documentary done with a regular digital camera.She was also able to find the best deals buying DVD tapes, she is the one who told me where to find them.

I keep trying to hold on to these brief moments we had together. I really looked up to her. Someone in her memorial at UCLA said that we don't really like to say that a person is better than others, but Tam was better in so many ways, she was.

There are a lot of people out there who will miss her, she had closer friends than i was to her, but i always admired her work from far away, she had a different way of looking at the world; she wasn't afraid of anything. Her passion for life, music and adventure was reflected in her work. I will regret not going to the sxsw festival with her in Austin this year. I will regret not making a bigger effort in going this year. Last time i saw her she told me that the only cool thing in TX that she knew about was this festival in Austin. She then signed my copy of underground undergrads which says: 'See ya in sxsw'. We didn't make it this year, but i will go next year in her memory.

I wish i had spent more time with you Tam, but we will meet again. I will try to capture more work with my camera. You live with every DREAMer. And don't worry even if things get a bit too heavy we'll all float on all right, i knew you liked that song.

Please take a minute to sign her petition to grant Tam citizenship
The Brave in Arizona
Trail of Dreams

Posted on May 18, 2010 by None

Tonight, America’s like an open wound, more visible than it was yesterday and probably not as deep as it may be tomorrow. This is the plight and burden of a movement: to make manifest to us all the suffering that we should have never gotten away with ignoring. How did we ever get away with the ignorance and indifference towards more than 60,000 students every year that weren’t even granted the option of aspiring for higher education? How did we get away with letting 95% of undocumented graduates to simply fall through the cracks?

Losing Tam may not have been a direct cause of the broken immigration system, but it was an overwhelming reminder of the thousands of times the system tried to destroy her or hold her back –keep her from everything she aspired to and deserved, as it continues to do to the millions like her.

Tonight, I am thinking of my brother Mo and my sister Yahaira held in custody in Arizona as they fight for my freedom –freedom from the internalized oppression and terror that has crippled migrant communities nationwide not simply on a basis of status, but even on gender and race. My heart beats loudly in solidarity with their struggle, our struggle, as we each take the lashes of every step toward liberation.

Tonight, I am inspired by those that are still here with me fighting, continuing the fight without means, without infrastructure, and so often without approval –because these efforts are keeping us all grounded and alive, infuriated and impassioned.

You can’t imagine the difference you make when you speak out, stand up, and overcome your fear. You can’t imagine the power that you have to save a life.
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Join Us Mon. May 17th at the Marlins Game in Miami!
Trail of Dreams

Posted on May 16, 2010 by favianna

Come join the Trail of Dreams on Monday, May 17th, 2010!
5:00 pm for distributing flyers, 7:00 pm for the game (block seating) @ Sun Life Stadium, 2267 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami, FL 33056

As national outrage builds against Arizona’s unjust and discriminatory SB 1070 law, a powerful and diverse coalition of South Florida synagogues, churches, community, cultural, advocacy and labor organizations will hold a press conference to announce two calls to action: to conduct an informational action at the Marlins vs. Diamondbacks game on Monday, May 17th and call for the 2011 Major League All Star Game to be pulled from Arizona unless SB 1070 is overturned.

We are calling for the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, presently scheduled to be played in Phoenix, AZ, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, to be relocated unless SB 1070 is overturned by the Arizona State Legislature and Governor. As opposition to the legislation builds from the MLB Players Association, team managers, players and sports commentators, coalitions from across the country will continue to take action wherever the Arizona Diamondbacks travel.

Brought to you by:
South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
Florida Immigrant Coalition
South Florida Jobs with Justice
Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami
Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida
SEIU Florida
UNITE HERE Local 355
South Florida AFL-CIO

For More info, contact:
Jeanette Smith: (305) 598-1404 or Jack Lieberman (305) 582-4846

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Civil Disobedience in San Francisco: Students call on Senator Feinstein to Champion DREAM
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Dream is Coming


On May 20th at 3pm, supporters of the DREAM Act marched from Union Square in San Francisco, CA to Senator Diane Feinstein’s office. Over 60 students were present to demand Senator Diane Feinstein to push for the DREAM Act out of the Judiciary Committee, where it now sits.

As the rally went on, two representatives from Senator Feinstein’s office came down to talk to the students. The students presented them with a couple of large butcher paper letters with handwritten stories and comments from students in support of the DREAM act. According to her representatives, Senator Feinstein will be seeing these letters in her office.

60 students decided to enter the federal building and sat there until they were told to leave. Everyone left, except 7 students who linked arms, demanding the passage of the DREAM act now. They staged a peaceful sit-in while the rally continued outside. These students were later arrested. Soon after, they were cited and released from SF police custody.

Action organized by UC Santa Cruz’s AB 540 student group called SIN
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Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Dream is Coming

Nancy Meza (323)316-0851,


Nueve ciudadanos detenidos, llevados al “Culver City Patrol Center”

A las 9:55 de la mañana varios centenares de estudiantes y miembros de la comunidad se reunieron afuera del edificio federal en la intersección de las calles Wilshire Boulevard y Veteran para demandar que el proyecto del DREAM Act se convierta en ley. Nueve ciudadanos se involucraron en un acto de desobediencia civil y se sentaron en el medio de Wilshire Boulevard por aproximadamente dos horas y media. Gritos como “Undocumented and unafraid”, “Pass the DREAM Act now” y “Student Power” resonaron por las calles donde el tráfico fue interrumpido por varias horas
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BREAKING: Civil Disobedience in Los Angeles, call on Senator Feinstein to Champion the DREAM Act
Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Dream is Coming


For Immediate Release
Media Contact
Nancy Meza (323)316-0851,



6300 Bristol Parkway,
Culver City, CA 90230


At 9:55 AM, several hundred students and community members gathered outside the federal building on Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran to call for passage of the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill. Nine citizens engaged in civil disobedience and sat in the middle of Wilshire Boulevard for approximately two and a half hours. Chants of “Undocumented and Unafraid”, “Pass the DREAM Act Now”, and “Student Power” resonated as the streets were shut down for several hours.

Demonstrators called on Senator Dianne Feinstein to champion the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill, and called for its passage before June 15th. The DREAM Act would grant a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who arrive in the country as minors and pursue higher education.

The participants of the civil disobedience action share their stories:

My name is Maria Garcia. I’m a 5th year UCLA student pursuing a degree in biological anthropology. I was born to immigrant parents who always put an emphasis on education. As I stand with other allies; I know I am in the right place. I am here to be in solidarity with every individual who has come out as undocumented and for those who remain in the shadows out of a fear resulting from unjust laws. I am here to fight alongside people who believe in the right to an equal education regardless of one’s status. Students are done with just simply DREAMING we are now taking ACTion. We know our friends and families need the DREAM Act NOW!

My name is Renato Perez, and I am a citizen by luck. The love for family, friends, and humanity is what pushes me and makes me fight harder. I believe that education is a human right and no human being should be denied that right. Pass the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill now !!!

My name is Yazmin I am an immigrant mujer from from mexico demanding the passage of the DREAM ACT as a stand alone bill! This is a necessary action that I’m doing with dignity and love for my family, friends, and my undocumented brothers and sisters. We are no longer spectators but activists in our struggle.

My name is Jonathan Bibriesca. My friend and I arrived to the United States at the same time, I was privileged to arrive with residency status. Almost immediately we became best friends, we have shared unforgetable moments and our friendship grew to the point where I begun to consider him a brother. After high school our lives took different roads, I joined the military and he enrolled in college. Then, I started to become aware of his situation and the unnecessary barriers that have stopped him because he is undocumented. He has inspired me to pursue higher education , and to advocate for social justice. I am taking part in this civil disobedience because of him and all the beautiful undocumented students who overcome barriers and fight to achieve higher education. I am taking part in this civil dissobediance action because I was raised with the values of reaching out and helping those in need.

My name is Andrea Ortega. I am a 4th year student at the University of California, Los Angeles. I was born to two immigrant parents who came here at the young ages of 5 and 12 years old. I am doing this for my friends and family members who have been victims of a broken immigration system. I am taking part in this civil disobedience in honor of Tam Tran and Cynthia Felix, two inspirational role models that gave so much to the students across the country and who will be with us in spirit. I am doing this in solidarity with the brave 3 students in Arizona who have given their futures so that hundreds and thousands of other students have a chance. I am doing this so that students will no longer be terrorized by legislation like SB1070 in Arizona, and not have to go to avoid school in fear that their families are deported back home. I am doing this because I know that it is a small sacrifice to make so that more students are able to pursue their education as I have. I am doing this so that the DREAM Act can be passed as a stand alone bill and become the first step towards a better society that does not discriminate any human being. I am doing this not for me but because legislators have not been able to answer our calls and lobby visits for reform and the DREAM Act. Now is the time for the DREAM Act. This country needs the DREAM ACT now more than ever. Pass the DREAM Act now!

My name is Olavo Michel. I am a citizen, son of immigrants, and UCLA student. But most importantly of all, I am human. I am here to demonstrate that there are people who stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants and students across the country. I am taking part in this civil disobedience to contest the privileges I have been awarded at the expense of others. I know of many undocumented students who are much more than deserving of the same rights, privileges, and opportunities that we have had as a result of merely being born here. My undocumented colleagues time and time again have proven their outstanding capabilities through academics, leadership, community engagement, but most important of all, as individuals, much more than some students with “documents.” I am advocating for the passing of the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill as a point of departure in which we, documented and undocumented can stand, live, and work together to contribute to the society we all live in.

My name is Sophia Sandoval. I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. Up until recently, I was ignorant of the crude reality we are living in. I’ve always had undocumented friends, and as a citizen I never realized the true struggle they have. I will never know what it’s like to work hard and not be recognized for it since I have “papers”. I am now more aware and am making a conscious effort to fight for them and do anything I possibly can to right this horrible wrong. It is for you, my friends, that I finally stand up and fight with you. Lets pass the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill now.

My Name is Charlene Gomez. We cannot deem this nation as the land of the free if we continue this attack on children and families for being “immigrants”. My loved ones deserve dignity. I am upholding the legacy of the civil rights movement when many people were denied their human rights, one being the right to an education. I will ensure the passage of the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill.

My name is Mariella Saba I am 22 years old. I am the daughter of migrant parents, of mixed Arabic and Mexican decent, born and raised in East Los Angeles. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2009, where I co-founded Students Informing Now in 2005, a political organization of AB540 students and allies organizing for education and immigration reform for marginalized students, especially those deemed undocumented. I am a poet, theater artist, educator, student, and citizen of the world. I am participating in this civil disobedience because we still live in a world where some humans are deemed legal and others illegal. Because education is a human right and students of color and undocumented students are still fighting for this right. Because the Dream Act as a stand alone bill is necessary and is the least that can be done for undocumented youth. Because my immigrant parents raised me to give, to love, to honor our humanity.
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Hunger Strike in Michigan- Tell Stabenow to Sponsor the DREAM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Dream is Coming

Media Contacts:
Samantha Nawrocki – (734) 585.8411,

STARVING: Seven Students go on Hunger Strike to Urge Stabenow’s Co-Sponsorship of the DREAM Act

Detroit, Michigan – May 18th, Dayanna, 20, Betty, 17, Angeles, 18, Maribel 20, Vicki 21, Luz 20, and Vanessa, 18, from Detroit and Canton have decided to go on a Hunger Strike until Senator Stabenow co-sponsors the DREAM Act and stand ups and demands that the DREAM Act be passed. These actions are in solidarity with the three undocumented students who were detained following a sit-in at Senator John McCain’s office.

Inspired by the courage of Mohammad “Mo” Abdollahi, who has risked being deported to Iran, where he would most certainly face capital punishment for his sexual orientation, local students have been motivated to mobilize and make the DREAM Act a reality.

Striker Dayanna along with her sister Betty, are amongst the undocumented students taking part in the strike. Dayanna states, “I went to school here, I played sports, I was in the band, I’m a normal student, and a piece of paper shouldn’t change that.”

Angeles, an undocumented student, has a 3.6 G.P.A and is ranked 15 out of 300 in her class. She has received numerous citizenship and honor awards. She states, “The thought of so many students like me that struggle through pain and tears upsets me. The thought that these students, who place all of their effort on their education, cannot attend the very best schools angers me! No student, no person, no human being should be denied the chance for higher education because of where they come from, I will starve for every one of these students in order to get our representative Debbie Stabenow to stand up and pass the DREAM Act NOW! “

Luz, a student at the University of Michigan, was recruited by Mohammad encouraged her to fight for the DREAM Act. She say , “Mo was like an older brother and mentor all at the same time.” She is joins the strike inspired by the risk her close friend is taking and knows this struggle cannot end without the passage of the DREAM Act.

These strikers along with the other four students are starving for their dreams and the dreams of the thousands of undocumented students who asking for the passage of the DREAM Act.
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Líderes Indocumentados Expuestos a la Deportación
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Dream is Coming

Tucson, Arizona. En la noche del día 18 de Mayo los tres jóvenes líderes indocumentados que habían sido detenidos por efectuar un plantón en la oficina del Senador John McCain (R-AZ) en Tucson Arizona, fueron liberados por Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE). Ellos deberán permanecer en Arizona y trabajarán con organizaciones locales y nacionales para continuar en la campaña para que el DREAM Act sea aprobado por el Congreso de EEUU antes del final del mes de Junio.

El día 17 de Mayo, Mohammad Abdollahi de Michigan, Yahaira Carrillo de Kansas, Tania Unzueta de Chicago, Raúl Alcaraz de Arizona y Lizbeth Mateo de California, organizaron un plantón en la oficina del Senador John McCain, desafiando a este y a los líderes del congreso a decidirse a convertir el proyecto del DREAM Act en ley. Después de siete horas y media Mohammad, Yahaira, Raúl y Lizbeth fueron arrestados por la policía de Tucson y pasaron la noche en la cárcel del condado de Pima. Tania Unzueta, habiendo sido designada como el portavoz del grupo, dejó voluntariamente la oficina del Senador McCain para hablar con reporteros. El día 18 de Mayo, los cuatro líderes se declararon inocentes del cargo de traspaso ilegal y fueron citados para aparecer el día 16 de Junio en la corte. Raúl Alcaraz, un residente permanente legal de los EEUU, fue también liberado con la condición de que apareciera frente a la corte el día 16 de Junio. Los otros tres esperaban ser liberados junto con él, pero en cambio fueron detenidos y procesados por ICE. Esa misma noche Mohammad, Yahaira y Lizbeth fueron liberados con la condición de estar bajo supervisión; ellos enfrentarán cargos de traspaso ilegal y están expuestos a la deportación.

“Estamos satisfechos de haber sido liberados por ICE, sin embargo nuestros corazones lloran por aquellos que han sido deportados y que no tuvieron las mismas oportunidades que nosotros tuvimos. Le pedimos a los líderes del senado y a los líderes de nuestras comunidades de tomar la misma iniciativa que nosotros tomamos y de resolverse a aprobar el DREAM Act este año” dijo Mohammad Abdollahi. “Senador Stabenow (D-MI), usted es uno de esos líderes, reconozca my sueño y los sueños de mis amigos y decídase a ser un patrocinador del DREAM Act, la hora ha llegado” concluyó Mohammad.

A pesar del hecho de que tres de los líderes se enfrenan a una inminente deportación, Mohammad, Yahaira, Lizbeth, Tania y Raúl se mantienen firmes en su resolución de que el DREAM Act se convierta en ley para establecerlo como un modelo de reforma basado en la educación, arduo trabajo y justicia.

Después de haber sido puesta en libertad Yahaira declaró “Hemos decidido unirnos para lograr que nuestra voz sea oída, estamos felices de haber sido puestos en libertad pero queremos recordarles a todos que la nuestra no es una acción individual. Es imperativo que todos continuemos a trabajar como nunca lo hemos hecho antes, para que el DREAM Act se convierta en realidad este verano. Ya los días de quedarnos sentados sin hacer nada, mientras otros deciden por nosotros, han quedado atrás; el poder para cambiar la situación está en nuestras manos y debemos ejercerlo hoy día. El DREAM Act tiene que convertirse en ley ahora”

La detención de los estudiantes ha generado la organización de vigilias de solidaridad, huelgas de hambre y actos de desobediencia civil a lo largo de todo el país, con el objeto de desafiar a los legisladores a tomar el liderazgo y convertir el proyecto del DREAM Act en realidad. Otras actividades a través de todo el país se están planificando para los próximos días.

“Nosotros queremos agradecer a todos en Arizona y en todo el país, especialmente a la juventud, por su continuo apoyo. Lograr que el DREAM Act se convierta en ley es algo urgente ya que tiene el poder de afectar las vidas de muchos estudiantes cuyo futuro esta en peligro. Nuestras acciones son un ejemplo del tipo de sacrificios que nuestro movimiento está dispuesto a hacer para logra que el DREAM se convierta en realidad de inmediato. Nosotros no podemos más vivir solo de la esperanza, necesitamos el DREAM Act y lo necesitamos hoy”.

Tania Unzueta, quien ha sido el portavoz del grupo, concluyó: “Si nuestros tres amigos son capaces de enfrentarse al peligro de ser deportados para demostrar lo comprometidos que están con el proyecto del DREAM Act, nuestra comunidad y nuestros líderes deben preguntarse que es lo que ellos están dispuestos a hacer”.

Este evento ha sido un proyecto independientemente organizado por jóvenes indocumentados y apoyado por DreamActivist.Org, DREAM Team LA, Kansas/ Missouri Dream Alliance, el Immigrant Youth Justice League, One Michigan, the Indiana Latino Youth Collective, y el New York State Youth Leadership Council. Para videos, media yotras informaciones por favor visite
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BREAKING: Undocumented Youth Leaders Released, Still facing deportation
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Dream is Coming

Local Contacts: Tania Unzueta, (773) 387-3186
Adam Kuranishi, (773) 991-3816

National Contacts: Flavia de la Fuente (949) 910-6362
Juan Escalante (954) 397-3175

ICE Releases Undocumented Youth Leaders Detained
at McCain’s Office Pushing for DREAM Act

Press conference to be held in front Senator McCain’s office (407 W. Congress) in Tucson, Arizona at 2:00 PM

Tucson, Arizona — On the night of May 18th the three undocumented youth leaders detained for staging a sit-in at Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) office in Tucson, Arizona were field released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They will remain in Arizona supporting local and national organizing for passing the DREAM Act before the end of June.

On May 17th, Mohammad Abdollahi of Michigan, Yahaira Carrillo of Kansas, Tania Unzueta of Chicago, Raul Alcaraz of Arizona, and Lizbeth Mateo of California, staged a sit-in at Senator John McCain’s office, calling on him and congressional leadership to take action and pass the DREAM Act. After 7 and a half hours, Mohammad, Yahaira, Raul, and Lizbeth were arrested by the Tucson Police Department, and they spent the night at the Pima County Jail. Tania Unzueta left the office to speak to reporters, stating that she had been designated the spokesperson for the group.
On May 18th, all four entered not-guilty to trespassing charges and were assigned a June 16th court date. Raul Alcaraz, a lawful permanent resident, was released on the condition that he would appear at the June 16th court date. The other three youth were expecting release but were instead detained and processed by ICE. That same night Mohammad, Yahaira, and Lizbeth were issued a field released supervision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They are facing federal charges of trespassing, and will be fighting their deportation proceedings.

“We are relieved to be released from ICE, however our hearts go out to all of the DREAM beneficiaries we made while we were being detained, all of whom were deported because they did not have the same support we did. We ask that leaders within both the Senate and our communities take the same stand we did and push for the DREAM Act to become a reality this year,” said Mohammad. “Senator Stabenow (D-MI), you are one of these leaders, recognize my dream and my friends dreams and co-sponsor the DREAM Act. Enough is enough,” he concluded.

Despite the fact that three of them are facing imminent deportation, Mohammad, Yahaira, Lizbeth, Tania, and Raul remain committed to passing the DREAM Act and establishing it as a standard for reform based on education, hard work, and fairness.

Upon release, Yahaira stated “We decided to own our power and make our voices heard. While we are glad to be out, remember that this action was not and is not about us as individuals. It is imperative for all to continue to push the DREAM Act, to work like we’ve never worked before and make this a reality this summer. We’ve surpassed the days of sitting idly by while others make decisions for us, while others tell us to wait. We cannot wait. Waiting is no longer a option. The DREAM Act must pass and it must pass now.”

The student’s detention sparked the organizing of solidarity vigils, hunger strikes, an civil disobedience actions across the country focused on pushing legislators to step up and take leadership in making the DREAM Act a reality. Upcoming actions are planned nationally.

“We want to thank everyone in Arizona and all over the country, especially the youth, who continue to stand by our side. Passing the DREAM Act is an urgent issue and thousands of young lives and their futures are at stake. Our action is only an example of the kind of sacrifices our movement of undocumented youth is willing to make in order to pass the DREAM Act immediately. We cannot live on hope alone, we need the DREAM Act and we need it now.”

Tania Unzueta, who has been acting as spokesperson for the group concluded, “If our three friends can face the ultimate fear of deportation to show their commitment to passing DREAM, our community and leaders must ask themselves what they are willing to do.”

This action was an independent undocumented youth-led project supported by DreamActivist.Org, DREAM Team LA, Kansas/ Missouri Dream Alliance, the Immigrant Youth Justice League, One Michigan, the Indiana Latino Youth Collective, and New York State Youth Leadership Council. For videos, media and more information visit
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Pass the DREAM Act! Call your Senator NOW!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Dream is Coming
Thank you for taking action to pass the DREAM Act by June 15, 2010! These three students in detention are leading our movement and we need to work now to keep them and al DREAMers safely in this country. Now it is time to make your voice heard even louder – call these key senators and demand that they take leadership to pass DREAM

Who do I call?

Call the congressional switchboard: (202)224- 3121and ask to be connected with your senator. If you see the state you reside in below, request to speak with the corresponding senator(s). If your state is not on the list, ask to speak to Senator Schumer who is the chair of the immigration subcommittee

Arizona – Senator John McCain
Arkansas – Senator Mark Pryor
California – Senator Diane Feinstein
Florida – Senator George LeMieux
Illinois – Senator Dick Durbin
Indiana – Senator Richard Lugar
Indiana – Senator Evan Bayh
Massachusetts – Senator Scott Brown
Michigan – Senator Debbie Stabenow
Missouri – Senator Claire McCaskil
Nebraska – Senator Ben Nelson
Nevada – Senator Harry Reid
New Jersey – Senator Robert Menendez
New Mexico –Senator Tom Udall
New York – Senator Chuck Schumer
Oregon – Senator Jeff Merkley
Oregon – Senator Ron Wyden
Texas – Senator Kay Hutchison

What do I say?

My name is ______ and I am calling to leave an urgent message for Senator ______. Three students who are community leaders and potential DREAM Act beneficiaries have just been detained in Arizona. We cannot wait any onger – Senator _____ must use his/her eadership to pass the DREAM Act by June 15, 2010.
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No more Coke, but diet's OK
By Josh Baugh - Express-News
San Antonio Express-News
Web Posted: 05/18/2010 12:00 CDT
City Manager Sheryl Sculley has declared war on sugar.
Well, at least when it comes to sodas and candy bars. Sugary sodas no longer have a home in the city's 250 beverage vending machines, and unhealthy foods in the 75 snack machines in city facilities are next.

“I asked the staff to remove the high-calorie soda drinks from our vending machines,” Sculley said. “I'm a fitness person, and I care about our employees, and I want them to be healthy. And I think this is a very small gesture.”

The new policy is only for vending machines and doesn't ban employees from consuming fatty foods and sugary drinks at work.

“But we don't have to promote it,” Sculley said.

Camille Miller, president and CEO of the Austin-based Texas Health Institute, a public policy think tank, said she's unaware of any other Texas municipality that's adopted similar policies. New York City has similar rules, she added.

“My hat is off to a government employee saying that a government facility shouldn't make it easy for people to be unhealthy,” Miller said. “We know that whatever people have access to, that's what they're going to get when they're in a hurry.”

Making healthy items easily available is “just good policy,” she said.

The beverage machines now contain water, juices and diet drinks. At the One Stop Center on South Alamo Street, the vending machines accessible to the public were stocked with Dasani water, Coca-Cola Zero, Diet Coke and Diet Dr to complete article
World Health Org and UN recommend populations eat plant-based diets

"Households should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses or legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods."

Says who?

Say experts from the World Health Organization and the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in a landmark report.

Quoting the report:

"Populations should consume nutritionally adequate and varied diets, based primarily on foods of plant origin with small amounts of added flesh foods. Households should select predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, pulses or legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods. The evidence that such diets will prevent or delay a significant proportion of non-communicable chronic diseases is consistent. A predominantly plant-based diet has a low energy density, which may protect against obesity."

And another excellent to complete article

Pro-immigrant Rep. Luis Gutierrez didn't get, or expect, a state dinner invite
(Page 1 of 4)
By Jason Horowitz
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
The Washington Post

Luis Gutierrez wasn't surprised that the Obama administration left him off the guest list for Wednesday's state dinner to honor the Mexican president.

"I didn't expect an invitation," said Gutierrez, an Illinois congressman and chair of the Democratic Caucus Immigration Task Force.

After all, Gutierrez's last White House visit, on May 3, did not go so well. He showed up wearing a white T-shirt with red letters that read: "ARREST ME NOT MY FRIENDS." The Park Police obliged.

Officers handcuffed Gutierrez, along with the immigrant advocates who had gathered with him across from the White House. They had come to protest a strict new Arizona law as well as the administration's overall lack of progress on the immigration issue.

The dinner to honor President Felipe Calderón falls in the middle of a furious debate over immigration, with emotional issues like border security, drug trafficking, civil rights and xenophobia mixing uncomfortably with giddy welcoming for Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria Parker or the mogul Carlos Slim -- all reportedly on the guest list. Some of the noisiest advocates and agitators for immigration reform in Congress will be looking in from the outside, hoping that the American and Mexican presidents seize the opportunity to push for progress on the to complete article
The Battle Over Taxing Soda
Change in price of items since 1978, relative to overall inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. The price of carbonated drinks, for example, has fallen 34 percent relative to all other prices.

Published: May 18, 2010
The New York Times
The classic way for lobbyists to defend their client’s interest is to insist that they are not actually defending their client’s interest. Really, they say, they are just looking out for ordinary Americans.

Tobacco lobbyists spent years fighting regulation by claiming to be defending individual freedom, not the profits of tobacco companies. Detroit’s lobbyists did much the same to push back against seat belt and pollution laws. Wall Street has spent months opposing the financial regulation bill in the name of families and small businesses.

The latest example comes from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and the rest of the soda industry, which is trying to defeat a soda tax now before the District of Columbia Council. The industry has succeeded recently in beating back similar taxes in New York and Philadelphia, and in keeping one out of the federal health overhaul bill. But the Washington Council seems to be seriously considering a penny-per-ounce tax on nondiet sodas, energy drinks and artificial juices. Council members are set to vote on the issue next to complete article

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Giving Tam Tran Posthumous Citizenship

From Dr. Matt Garcia, Brown University
Dear colleagues:

It is with great sadness that I regret to inform everyone of the passing of Tam Tran and Cinthya Felix.  These women were nationally active in the
undocumented students Civil Rights Movement through their fight for the DREAM Act.  These women were amazing activists and put themselves at great risk to fight for this just cause. Cinthya was a working class student from East Los Angeles, California and Tam's family had been displaced as a result of the Vietnam War and was from Garden Grove, CA.

As some of you know Tam Tran worked with me at Brown University in the American Civilization program.  I met Cinthya a couple times when she was here in RI to do advocacy on behalf of undocumented students.  I am deeply saddened by their passing.  Tam was like a daughter to me.  She bridged cultural differences through her activism, films, and scholarship, and embraced an identity that accounted as much for the Latina-influences in her life as her Vietnamese background.

I am working with two colleagues in Providence--Alexandra Filindra of Brown and Kara Cebulko of Providence College--to appeal to the Rhode Island Congressional delegation for posthumous citizenship for Tam and citizenship for her surviving family in Southern California.  I believe similar moves should happen on behalf of Cinthya.  We knew Tam very well and feel that we can make the strongest appeal on her behalf at the moment.  Will you join me in this effort by signing the attached petition?

Please read the attached. If you feel you can support it, please sign and have colleagues, friends, and students sign as well.  We hope to have an overwhelming show of support by Monday, May 24, the day after Tam is laid to rest in Southern California.  We pray that you will joining us in honoring her life.

You may fax your lists to my office: 401-863-7589, or you can email your name and address to Alexandra Filindra at

Thank you, Matt

Matt Garcia
Associate Professor
American Civilization, Ethnic Studies, and History
 Brown University

College or a Baby

The last few weeks I have been spending some time at a local high school.  I have a seen a number of girls taking their babies to school.  I was talking to a high school class and mentioned birth control and Planned Parenthood and the kids inundated me with questions.

Many young women get pregnant while in high school and college.  Most these days have abortions.  I am not saying I am for or against that.  What I am against is getting pregnant in the first place.  If you are female and you are in school, you can kiss your education good-bye if you have a baby (married or unmarried).  Some young women have been able to finish high school and/or college, but its near impossible.

The college community of Houston is very fortunate to have a Planned Parenthood clinic a few blocks from the University of Houston.  The clinic not only offers birth control. It offers all sorts of other services that women need.

Back in the seventies, college girls used to fill up a car and drive to the big Planned Parenthood location in downtown Houston.  For some the drive was over fifty miles.  College was so important to them, they knew they have to get their degree before they began to think of motherhood.  Forty years later  birth control is much easier to obtain.  Don't let your life pass you by, wait until until you are ready before you give life to someone else.

Birth Control allows you to prevent pregnancy and plan the timing of pregnancy. Find the birth control method that would work best for you.
Planned Parenthood
4600 Gulf Freeway
1st Floor
HoustonTX 77023
P: 713.522.3976
F: 713.535.2437

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dora the Explorer at Risk of Being Deported

What will Arizona to do Dora the Explorer?  Will this keep Dora from traveling around the world.  Just what country does she really belong to?  If she is released, will she help the DREAMers in their struggle?


Los Angeles Times - May 21, 2010

Dora the Explorer's immigration status comes under question in Arizona law's aftermath

Thursday, May 20, 2010

DREAMers in LA Block Westside Traffic

LAPD arrests 9 in immigration march that blocked Westside traffic

The Los Angeles Police Department has arrested at least nine demonstrators who blocked Wilshire Boulevard Thursday as part of a immigrant rights march.

The protest jammed traffic in Westwood and surrounding communities, with both Wilshire Boulevard and the 405 Freeway affected. Metro announced that some bus routes were being detoured. California Highway Patrol Lt. Steve Strull said officials want to clear traffic so ambulances headed to Reagan-UCLA Medical Center are not delayed.

Nancy Meza, 23, a UCLA student who is scheduled to graduate in three weeks with a degree in Chicano studies, said the civil disobedience was organized in an effort to push for passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, commonly known as the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act is federal legislation that would provide certain undocumented alien students who graduate from U.S. high schools and have been in the country continuously for at least five years before the bill's enactment the opportunity to earn conditional permanent to complete LAT article

The Famous 4 in Arizona make the NYT


Courage in Arizona

Four young immigrant students risked everything on Monday when they sat down in Senator John McCain’s office in Tucson and refused to leave. They were urging passage of the Dream Act, a bill offering a citizenship path to illegal immigrants who, like them, were brought to the United States as children, too young to have willfully broken the to complete NYT article

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

But My Mom Doesn't Have Any Papers

A second grader told Michelle Obama her concerns about "people being taken away."  Click here to see video
Huffington Post - May 19, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama Questioned by Second-Grader Worried About Her Mom's Immigration Status

A second-grader stole the show today, even as U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon held a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House.
While the two Presidents spoke about the need for immigration reform and about concerns over Arizona's harsh new law -- without saying anything new or different -- down the road in Silver Spring, Maryland, First Lady Michele Obama and Mexico’s First Lady Margarita Zavala visited an elementary school to speak with a class of second

ABC News’ Karen Travers reports what happened when a young girl spoke up:
The student shyly raised her hand and said, "My mom ... she says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn't have papers."  Mrs. Obama replied: "Yeah, well that's something that we have to work on, right? To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right? That's exactly right." The girl then said quietly, "But my mom doesn't have any ..." and trailed off.   Mrs. Obama replied: "Well, we have to work on that. We have to fix that, and everybody's got to work together in Congress to make sure that happens. That's right."

The Veil: Sarkozy is Stretching the French Constitution

The response is that a law to ban the veil would be unconstitutional in France.  The vocal concern about the veil is that it can mask anyone, even Michael Jackson.  Yet it is part of a strong religious belief held by many.  Does a government have the right to make a woman reveal her face?


Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet approves bill to ban full Islamic veil

London Guardian - May 19, 2010

Santa Muerte

A few days ago I noticed that another one of my neighbors had la Santa Muerte on the back window of his pick up truck.  You see them often on Houston freeways.  The common talk is that those who show the images are narcotraficantes.  I'm wondering if its more than that.  She is representing the era of death for Mexico.  With 9,000 people killed last year alone from the narcoguerra, poor medical care, most of the population living far below poverty level, it is no wonder that people would turn away from Guadalupe and towards the inevitable one.

Mexican President Calderon is meeting with President Obama this week.  I wonder if they are talking about Mexico's era of death.  

Santa Muerte/Saint Death
Catherine Sasanov
Thin Girl
White Girl
You love the sweet smell of your handiwork.
What last resort drives the living to you?
Do you recognize yourself in their hands?
Man bearing his hand-carved Death in his arms.
Death snuggled among marshmallows in a vvicker basket.
Death in a crib, crooned to sleep by a girl.
Death locked in a car, lording over the dashboard—
Good Old Plastic Muerte


Meeting between Obama and Calderon

Border security talks wrap with Obama pointing to issues with Ariz. law, Washington Post, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tam Tran - Video

You can view a video from 2007 of Tam Tran speaking to the presidential candidates by clicking here

In May 2007 Tam testified before a Congressional Committee regarding the DREAM Act.  Click here to see her written testimony.
DETAINED in Arizona: Four Student Immigrant Leaders
Monday, May 17, 2010
The Dream is Coming

Media Contacts: Juan (407) 602-8675, Flavia de la Fuente (949) 910-6362

DETAINED in Arizona: Four Student Immigrant Leaders

Peacefully Resist Current Immigration Law, Urge Passage of DREAM Act

As of 6:00 PM PST today, Mohammad, Yahaira, Lizbeth and Raul, an Arizona Resident, have been arrested and detained after their day long sit-in at Senator John McCains Office in Tucson, AZ. Tania, who was not detained, has been designated as spokesperson and will be relating the experiences/thoughts of the group during the action.

Senator John McCain offered the students a meeting in order to discuss the Dream Act, however, the students recognize that this is insufficient and that immediate action is needed to pass the DREAM Act!

Tucson, Arizona. May 17th, on the anniversary of landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education, Arizona law enforcement arrested four undocumented leaders of the immigrant student movement in addition to Arizona native Raul Alcaraz. Lizbeth Mateo of Los Angeles, California; Tania Unzueta of Chicago, Illinois; Mohammad Abdollahi of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Yahaira Carrillo of Kansas City, Missouri; were detained Tucson, Arizona, after staging a sit-in at Senator John McCain’s office. With this challenge to local and federal law, these youth hope to highlight the urgency of legislative action in Congress, and catalyze mass grassroots mobilization to pass the DREAM Act before June 15th.

These four leaders are risking deportation from the United States in the hope that this action will make a significant contribution to the fight for immigrant rights. In response to the onslaught of enforcement-based immigration law, they staged a sit-in at Senator McCain’s office, and urged congressional leadership to champion the DREAM Act and the values it represents: hard work, education, and fairness.

Lizbeth, 25, an organizer with DREAM Team Los Angeles, states, “There are already ten other states across the country considering immigration legislation similar to Arizona’s: legislation that is anti-family, anti-democratic, and anti-freedom. Police states and enforcement are quickly becoming the standard, and we are running out of time. We are going to pass the DREAM Act because it is based on freedom and equality.”

Mohammad, 24, co-founder of DreamActivist.Org, a resource web portal for undocumented students, said in a statement: “Never in our history has it been American to deny people their civil rights. We have decided to peacefully resist to encourage our leaders to pass the DREAM Act and create a new standard for immigration reform based on education, hard work, equality, and fairness.”

At least 65,000 undocumented immigrant youth graduate from high schools every year, and many of them struggle to attend institutes of higher education and the military. The DREAM Act will grant youth who traveled to the United States before the age of 16 a path to citizenship contingent on continuous presence in the country, good behavior, and the attainment of at least a two-year university degree or a two-year commitment to the armed forces.

“During the civil rights movement, African-American students were arrested for sitting down at lunch counters. We’ve been detained for standing on a sidewalk. We can’t wait any longer for the DREAM Act to pass,” said Tania, 26, co-founder of the Immigrant Youth Justice League, and immigrant rights organizer in Chicago.

All four are leaders in their own communities and have dedicated years to work for immigrant rights, legalization for undocumented immigrants, and the DREAM Act. “Dr. King spoke of a dream of equality overcoming fear. Well, the fierce urgency of our dreams has overcome any kind of fear we may have had before. We can’t wait,” concluded Yahaira, 25, a founder of the Kansas Missouri Dream Alliance.

National Press Conference

Tuesday May 18th
9 AM Pacific, 11 PM Central, Noon EST

In front of Senator John McCain’s office:

407 West Congress Street
Tucson, AZ 85701
link to