Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ICE and Alex - An Announcement from Our Friends at Immigration and Customs Enforcement


In the event of an emergency -- such as a hurricane -- and the need for an officially ordered evacuation, ICE's highest priorities are the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the danger zone, engagement in life-saving and life-sustaining activities, maintenance of public order, prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and assistance with the speedy recovery of the region.   There will be no ICE immigration enforcement operations associated with evacuations and sheltering. The Department's law enforcement components will be at the ready to help anyone in need of assistance. Obviously, the laws will not be suspended, but in the event of an evacuation, we want to make sure that we can help local authorities move traffic out of the danger zone quickly, safely, and efficiently.  ICE seeks to provide for the safety and security of those in our custody and to protect them from bodily harm in the event that a hurricane or a major destructive storm is forecasted.  Should the need arise; ICE will transfer detainees from affected detention facilities.  In the event of a transfer, the detainee's attorney of record will be notified and the transfer will be temporary in nature.

Andrew Lorenzen-Strait
Chief, Public Engagement Liaison
Office of State and Local Coordination
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

sent out by Jonathan Blazer
National Immigration Law Center
215-753-8057 (Philadelphia)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Keep the Bees Alive

Did you know that half the bees in the world are gone?  We have killed them with pesticides and other forms of pollution.  Bees and butterflies are very important to our survival.  Without them we wouldn't have most of our plants (that means FOOD)

"To keep the bees and butterflies on earth, you can do the following

1. Plant a pollinator garden.  Consider the pollinators you want to attract and plant the plants that they need.  A little research will show you what they are.  In the case of butterflies, this will include both nectar plants for the adults and host plants for their caterpillars. 

2. Build and hang a bee box.  There are commercial nest boxes available for mason bees but you can construct a simple one using something like small tubes of bamboo.  These bees will utilize almost any kind of tube in which to lay their eggs.

3. Avoid or limit pesticide use.  This is the most important one of all.

For those of us who like to eat, there are no more important critters than these.  Let us all acknowledge that importance by supporting our local pollinators in every way that we can."

from  Have you hugged your pollinator today? - Houston Chronicle 6 27 10

Also see:  

Above:  "Butterfly Plant"  -- attracts butterflies.  They grow well in Houston.  Ours froze during the bad freeze this winter and came back quickly.

An Interview with Livni: Gaza

Some of us have a different reality
The NYT interviewed Livni who says there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza:

Questions for Tzipi Livni

Leader of the Opposition

...Solomon:  Many Americans agree Hamas is a disaster, but might Israel do more to show concern for the Palestinian people and the problems they face? 
Livni:  I know that there is no humanitarian crisis...  

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eric Balderas granted Deferred Action on his Deportation!

Would your university stand behind you if you were detained?  Was Eric only able to stay because he is a student at Harvard?

Either way, this notable case will move us closer to the DREAM Act.


Harvard student won’t face deportation Boston Globe

Officials: Harvard student will not be deported Yahoo News

Sat Jun 19, 1:47 am ET
BOSTON – An undocumented Harvard University student is no longer facing deportation to Mexico after being detained nearly two weeks ago by immigration authorities at a Texas airport, officials said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said late Friday that they would not pursue the deportation of Eric Balderas. The 19-year-old was detained June 7 after he tried to use a university ID card to board a plane from San Antonio to Boston.

ICE spokesman Brian P. Hale told The Boston Globe that Balderas had been granted deferred action, which can be used to halt deportation based on the merits of a case.

Balderas, who previously had used a Mexican passport to board planes but recently lost it, told The Associated Press that he became despondent and thought he was being deported to Mexico immediately, only to be released the next day.

According to a Facebook page set up to highlight his case, Balderas was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his family at age 4. He said he doesn't remember living in Mexico.

He's studying molecular and cellular biology at Harvard and hopes to become a cancer researcher. He said he qualified for Harvard's privately-funded scholarship package.

Harvard officials immediately threw support behind Balderas after his detainment. "Eric Balderas has already demonstrated the discipline and work ethic required for rigorous university work, and has, like so many of our undergraduates, expressed an interest in making a difference in the world," said Christine Heenan, Harvard's vice president of public affairs and communications. yahoo news.

The case also sparked a buzz on social media sites and among student immigrant activists who see the Balderas situation as the ideal test case to push the proposed DREAM act — a federal bill that would allow illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship via college enrollment or military service.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Time is NOW!

Trail of Dreams

Posted on June 7, 2010 by felipe

A friend of mine from the youth immigrant movement in this country made the bold and honest statement earlier this month that “our government seems to have forgotten that they are playing politics with our very lives.” I think that this problem goes far beyond just our state and federal government, but I can agree, at least, that these are manipulative political games that I'm simply not willing to play. We don't have a minute to waste, remembering daily how we have already wasted a decade, and our communities cannot go without a victory for yet another year. We need for every major immigrant rights organization to invest time and resources on pushing the Hispanic Caucus to pass the DREAM Act and AgJobs this year as well as demanding president Obama to stop deportations.

I joined the fight for human rights when I was sixteen years-old. I was a high school sophomore at the time, and had recently stumbled upon the realization that I lacked the legal documentation being required of me to validate my existence and my humanity. I will never forget the first time that someone turned to me and said I couldn't attend college, and that any aim I had for a successful future in this country was a hopeless aspiration. In the middle of so much confusion, I found the little hope to keep me motivated every morning embodied by the Development Relief in Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act -a proposed legislation that would provide the option of a pathway to citizenship to foreign individuals who arrived at the United States as minors, graduated from U.S. high schools, demonstrated good moral conduct, and committed to completing a minimum of two years of college or military service. It was the promise of opportunity in America. It was the DREAM that for so many years had kept me alive, and in retrospect, I felt it my duty to do everything within my power to keep IT alive. I still recall my early days in this struggle for social justice as I used to hide behind trees in my high school courtyard, in civil disobedience to the school's policy against student's use of cell phones, and convinced friends (through a meticulous process of recruitment which eventually evolved to my first efforts at community organizing) to call congressional representatives to demand co-sponsorships for the bill. Every time the bill failed in Congress, I wept, and tried with all my might to rejuvenate that hope every time it was reintroduced again. Meanwhile, the losses have been devastating and the pain of our communities has escalated too greatly for this issue to be treated as a game that could be lost or postponed yet again to another future term. We don't have the option of just giving up on our communities yet again. We must have a WIN!

Our opposition had a vision for what they wanted to see in an “ideal” immigration reform bill. They introduced the “Sensenbrenner” proposal in 2006 that would virtually make life for immigrants entirely unbearable in this country. We organized and defeated the bill in 2007, however, we were not able to keep our guard up. Nearly all aspects of the original proposal started being pushed through in the form of smaller bills that created the political environment that we are currently living in now. Through an undeclared piecemeal approach, the anti-immigrants repeatedly won several legislative battles while we continued to push for an omnibus bill that has been diluted so often in the past decade that many are wondering if any of the few benefits it proposes really outweigh the long term devastation it will cost all of our friends and families.

What has happened in Arizona is partially our fault. We as a movement allowed for anti-immigrant rhetoric to dominate the public sphere, to the point that even in Florida, groups affirmed once that the reasons for our water shortages were due to the presence of immigrants in the state. Our movement accepted too many concessions. We accepted a framework for legalization that was twenty-six pages long while the first seventeen were dedicated to enforcement of unjust and often inhumane immigration policies that keep families living in fear and criminalize innocent people of color. Instead of having a resolute stance on a progressive compromise, it has somehow become “strategic” to allow the majority of our people to be seen and demonized as criminals, needing to “pay the price for our illegal actions.” When my family decided to send me to the United States they did not commit a crime. They were trying to build a better future for me and the different generations in our family. This approach contributed to the growth of a anti-immigrant political culture in which, now in 2010, it has somehow become acceptable to enact bluntly racist legislation in Arizona, such as SB1070. The precedent has inspired several other states across the nation to introduce similar legislation and, without leadership and action against this from the federal government, it will only continue to spread across our nation like a cancer. President Obama's response to this situation: militarizing the U.S./Mexico border with 1,200 troops of the national guard. If we are not going to reassess our strategy now, when will we?

Our congressional “champions”, and our own internalized fear in this movement to dare to negotiate on our terms is what has been dooming us to inevitable failure. Our people invested their hopes and dreams yet again in a handful of promising politicians and yet, they keep bringing us back to the age-old doctrine that change is something we can only accomplish gradually in the hands of, at the timeline of, and under the terms of the same people that stand against our families and futures. We can't keep losing hundreds of thousands of our loved ones along the way while every imaginable excuse is concocted to keep even the first tangible victories somewhere beyond the horizon. And I wonder how long we will allow politicians (and I use that term broadly) to keep convincing us that something just within our reach is still 6 months to several years away? The Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the leadership in our movement has a unique opportunity this very instant to change the stakes set against us on our path to victory by changing their strategy to a downpayment approach. We need them to stand with us now, as we have stood with them in their campaign to deliver something positive for us.

In the Trail, we decided to attempt to meet with and challenge individuals and institutions that have helped to perpetuate the spread of fear throughout our country; people like Sheriff Butch Conway, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors. Our approach has been to treat everyone as a human being in an attempt to combat hatred spewed at us, with love. It was through this method that we witnessed love is the most radical of all tactics. Our work is not against talking heads but rather on creating a space for immigrants to stand up and fight for themselves and their communities with dignity in this struggle. Yesterday, Juan asked, “ If our opposition has united against us in their hate, why can't we unite under the love we have for our communities?”. Let us leave our political differences behind and roll up our sleeves to accomplish something positive for our communities this year for a change. We still have the chance to pass the DREAM Act, AgJobs and hold president Obama accountable for his promises on his campaign trail -he, too, can act now to stop the bleeding by signing an executive order to stop deportations instead of sending troops to the border and providing further funding to criminalization. In the Congresso Latino this approach was widely accepted- it was voted by 35 to 14 votes. Recognized organization such as LULAC and NALAC have decided that we need a downpayment this year as well. So the question I pose our movement is: what are we waiting for? Are we waiting for SB1070 to take effect and spread to each of our states, in order for us to finally understand that we need to stand united? How great of a cost are we willing to pay before we fully reclaim our humanity?

link to

Trail of Dreams

Posted on June 2, 2010 by None | Post a comment

Florida Immigrant Coalition
Action Alert


Join us for a Day of Action Demanding that Senator LeMieux Support the DREAM Act and AgJOBS!

Senator LeMieux needs to voice what he knows to be true: Immigrants and immigration have been good for Florida. Students and farmworkers should fully participate in building a future for our Sunshine State.
If you are in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Tampa, join us!
Next week we will visit the offices of Senator LeMieux in each city to hold Senator LeMieux accountable to his immigrant constituents.
Whether or not you attend one of these events, please call Senator LeMieux's office at (202) 224-3041 and ask him to endorse the DREAM Act and AgJOBS!

1:00 p.m. - Tampa
Office of Senator LeMieux
3802 Spectrum Boulevard, Suite 106 Tampa, FL 33612
Contact: Jessica Sánchez (863) 808-2649
3:00 p.m. - Miami
Office of Senator LeMieux
8669 NW 36 th St., Suite 355 Miami, FL 33166
Contacts: Gabriela Mejía (786) 873-5820 or Jonathan Luna (786) 873-3596
3:00 p.m. - Fort Lauderdale
Office of Senator LeMieux
642 N Federal Hwy. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Contact: Manuel Guerra (772) 323-1893
There will be no event on Monday, June 7 at Senator Le Mieux's Orlando office. The other three actions across the state will be taking place. Apopka SWER, the Farmworker Association, and Orlando YAYA will continue to put pressure on Senator Le Mieux to co-sponsor both AgJOBS and the DREAM Act.

Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER), Palm Beach County Coalition (Fort Lauderdale), Esperanza Juvenil/Youth for Change (Tampa), Democracia Ahora (Tampa), and other members of the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

Información Actualizada:
Dia de acción para exigir que el Senador LeMieux endose el DREAM Act y AgJOBS!
El Senador LeMieux necesita decir la verdad que él conoce: los inmigrantes y la inmigración han sido buenas para la Florida. Los estudiantes y campesinos deben tener plena participación en la construcción de un futuro para nuestro estado.
Si estás en Miami, Fort Lauderdale o Tampa, acompáñanos! Vamos a visitar las oficinas del Senador LeMieux en cada ciudad para decir que el Senador LeMieux le debe una respuesta a sus electores inmigrantes.
Quiera o no asistir a uno de estos eventos, por favor llame a la oficina del senador LeMieux: (202) 224-3041 y solicitele que aprueba el DREAM Act y AgJOBS!

1:00 p.m. - Tampa
Oficina del Senador LeMieux
3802 Spectrum Boulevard, Suite 106 Tampa, FL 33612
Contacto: Jessica Sánchez (863) 808-2649
3:00 p.m. - Miami
Oficina del Senador LeMieux
8669 NW 36 th St., Suite 355 Miami, FL 33166
Contactos: Gabriela Mejía (786) 873-5820 o Jonathan Luna (786) 873-3596
3:00 p.m. - Fort Lauderdale
Oficina del Senador LeMieux
642 N Federal Hwy. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Contacto: Manuel Guerra (772) 323-1893
No habrá ningún evento el lunes, 7 de junio en la oficina del Senador Le Mieux en Orlando. Las otras tres acciones en todo el estado se llevarán a cabo. Apopka SWER, la Asociación Campesina, y Yaya Orlando continuarán ejerciendo presión sobre el Senador Le Mieux para patrocinar AgJOBS y la Ley DREAM.

Estudiantes Trabajando por la Igualdad de Derechos (SWER en inglés), Coalición del Condado de Palm Beach (Fort Lauderdale), Esperanza Juvenil/Youth for Change (Tampa), Democracia Ahora (Tampa), y otros miembros de la Coalición Inmigrantes de la Florida

# # #

The Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC) works to achieve equal rights for immigrants and integration into the civic and cultural life of our communities. We accomplish our mission through coordination of immigrant organizations and community education, organizing and advocacy.

La Coalición de Inmigrantes de la Florida (FLIC) trabaja para lograr la igualdad de derechos para los inmigrantes y la integración en la vida cívica y cultural de nuestras comunidades. Logramos nuestra misión a través de la coordinación de las organizaciones de inmigrantes y la educación comunitaria, la organización y promoción.

©2009 | Florida Immigrant Coalition | 8325 NE 2nd Avenue, Suite 206, Miami, FL 33138
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link to
HUNGER STRIKE ENDS; Schumer tells youth that RI4A says No to Stand-Alone Dream Act

The Dream is Coming

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Today, immigrant youth and their allies were told by Senator Chuck Schumer that he was told by the leadership of Reform Immigration For America not to move forward with the DREAM Act.

The ten participants of a ten-day long New York hunger strike in front of Senator Chuck Schumer’s offices went to his Long Island and Washington D.C. offices to hold peaceful civil disobedience actions, and to urge him to take a leading role in moving the DREAM Act forward as a stand-alone bill. Three students at the Long Island office were arrested, three students refused to leave the senator’s office in Washington D.C. until they met with him, and four held a “die-in” in front of the senator’s offices in New York.

These actions have come as part of a wave of civil disobedience actions across the country, initiated when four undocumented students staged a sit-in at Senator McCain’s office in Tucson, Arizona, and are now facing deportation. Since then, there have been hunger strikes, vigils, sit-ins, and multiple arrests made as the immigrant youth movement advocates for the DREAM Act.

The students who went to the senator’s office in Washington D.C. met with the Senator himself, at which point he proceeded to tell them that last week, there was a meeting between Senate leadership and Reform Immigration For America to talk about the future for the DREAM Act. There was no immigrant youth leadership present or even invited, notwithstanding Senator Schumer’s promise to the hunger strikers a week before that immigrant youth would have a place at the table. One of Senator Schumer’s aides informed the students that youth were not wanted at the meeting by Reform Immigration For America.

At that meeting, Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, Frank Sharry of America’s Voice, Deepak Bhargava of the Center for Community Change, and representatives of the Catholic church stated that they did not want Senator Schumer to move forward with the DREAM Act.

Every year 70,000 undocumented students graduate U.S. high schools. They have little hope of pursuing their dreams. The DREAM Act would allow immigrant youth who meet certain criteria, including coming to the US as children, having graduated from a U.S. high school, and having completed two years of college or military service, a path to citizenship.

From the hunger strikers:“We’re here because nothing else has worked. We starved for 10 daysand now we’re not leaving his office until we get a commitment for
Dream as a stand alone bill” – Jennifer Carino

“The past 10 years have been unacceptable. We’re here to make sure
another 10 years don’t go by and that children can achieve their
dreams. Enough is enough and the time is now” – Luis Rivera


“Why would you rather have youth STARVE than to support us?

Prove us wrong, and release a statement calling for stand-alone DREAM Act immediately.

Prove us wrong, and include immigrant youth, who can speak for themselves, at a meeting with congressional leadership.”

link to
Monday, June 7, 2010

The Dream is Coming


Martes 8 de junio 2010

Nueva York, NY. El Jueves 03 de junio 2010, los miembros del personal del Senador Schumer se reunieron con los huelguistas de hambre en la calle y les ofreció una fecha tentativa del 18 de Junio para una reunión con el senador Schumer. Para los huelguistas, la fecha, que queda mas de una semana es muy tarde para reunirse. Los jóvenes demandan reunirse con el Senador Schumer, lo mas tardar el fin de esta semana. Las vidas de los jóvenes están en riesgo y ellos no pueden esperar mas. Esta demanda sera anunciada en una rueda de prensa este Martes. Cada año, por más de 9 años, jóvenes que se beneficiarían de la propuesta del Dream Act le han ofrecido falsas esperanzas y promesas rotas y nuestros sueños no pueden esperar más.

Como Presidente de Subcomité de Inmigración del Senado, Schumer tiene el poder para mover hacia adelante el Dream Act pero el no quiere. Él opta por mantener a nuestros sueños prisioneros y el tiempo se acaba! Han sido 10 años luchando por este proyecto de ley.

Cada año 70.000 estudiantes indocumentados se gradúan de la escuela superior con pocas esperanzas de realizar sus sueños. El DREAM Act permitiría a los jóvenes inmigrantes que cumplen ciertos requisitos: haber llegando a los EE.UU. cuando eran niños, haberse graduado de una escuela superior en los EE.UU y luego completar dos años de universidad o servicio militar, les daría un camino hacia la ciudadanía.

ELMartes 08 de Junio 2010, el octavo día de huelga de hambre, y una semana desde que la huelga empezo, los huelguistas de hambre, sus familias y miembros de la comunidad exigiran reunirse con el senador antes del Viernes

Cuándo: Martes 8 de junio a partir de las 12pm- llueva o truene
Dónde: En frente a la oficina de Schumer se encuentra en 757 Third Ave. New York, NY 10017
Imágenes disponibles en:

Contacto para medios: Marisol Ramos, co-fundadora

Phone: (347) 443-8299, Oficina: 212-497-3477, Celular: 917-443-7013

link to
Monday, June 7, 2010

The Dream is Coming


Tuesday June 8th, 2010



New York, NY. On Thursday June 3rd, 2010, staff members of Senator Schumer met with the Hunger strikers on the street and offered a tentative date of June 18th for an in person meeting with Senator Schumer. Every year, for well over 9 years, Dream Act youth have been offered false hope and broken promises and our dreams cannot wait any longer. Immigrant Youth are putting their lives on the line because they need the Dream Act immediately. The youth conducting the hunger strike are demanding a meeting by the end of this week! Immigrant Youth cannot wait any longer and the hunger strikers are already weak. Each day is critical!

As the Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, Schumer has the power to move the Dream Act forward today but chooses not too. He chooses to keep our dreams hostage while our time is running out! We’ve seen close to 10 years of fighting for this bill.

Every year 70,000 undocumented students graduate U.S. high schools. They have little hope of pursuing their dreams. The DREAM Act would allow immigrant youth who meet certain criteria, including coming to the US as children, having graduated from a U.S. high school, and having completed two years of college or military service, a path to citizenship.

Today, June 8th, 2010, on Day 8th of the Hunger Strike, the 10 hunger strikers, their families and community members will announce their demand to meet with the Senator Schumer by the end of the week.

When: Tuesday June 8th, 2010 at 12pm RAIN or SHINE

Where: In front of Schumer’s office located on 757 Third Ave New York, NY 10017

Images available at:

Media Contact: Marisol Ramos, co- founder

Phone: (347) 443-8299

Office: 212-497-3477, Cell: 917-443-7013

link to
Border security trips up immigration debate
The dispute over border enforcement — just how much is enough? — threatens to derail Democrats' attempt to overhaul immigration laws.
Los Angeles Times
June 15, 2010|By Ken Dilanian and Nicholas Riccardi
Reporting from Washington and Denver —

The Republican governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, calls her state "the gateway to America for drug trafficking, extortion, kidnapping and crime." She blames the federal government for failing to secure the border with Mexico.

Her Democratic predecessor, Janet Napolitano, now the country's Homeland Security secretary, counters that the Southwestern border "is as secure now as it has ever been."
The dispute over just how much border security is enough looms as the biggest impediment to any attempt by the Obama administration and Congress to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.

Republicans say they can't support an immigration bill until the border is under control. The Obama administration points out that crime in U.S. border cities is down, as are illegal border to complete article
Court blocks deportation over minor drug convictions
The justices rule that a legal Texas resident's two possession arrests do not constitute an 'aggravated felony' and that he should not have been sent to Mexico.
Los Angeles Times
June 15, 2010|By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington —

The Supreme Court on Monday blocked the government from routinely deporting legal immigrants for minor drug possession convictions, a decision that immigrant rights lawyers said would spare tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding residents from being sent out of the U.S.

In a 9-0 decision, the justices said a Texas man who had pleaded guilty at different times to having a marijuana cigarette and a single Xanax anti-anxiety pill had been wrongfully to complete article

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stand Alone DREAM ACT!!!

Great News!!!

Moments ago (Tuesday June 15, 2010), the University Leadership Initiative (ULI) received a call from Congressman Henry Cuellar's office, informing us that the Congressman signed on as a cosponsor to the DREAM Act (H.R. 1751)  stand alone legislation! 
Congressman Cuellar's co-sponsorship marks a dual Texas victory.  On Friday, Congressman Al Green signed on as a cosponsor to the DREAM Act stand alone bill as well.  The two Texas Congressmen bring the tally of DREAM Act House sponsors to 122!   
 Please call Congressman Cuellar at (202) 225-1640 and Congressman Al Green at (202) 225-7508 and thank them for cosponsoring the DREAM Act!  They need to know that their constituents are paying attention, and thankful for their support.

United We DREAM
Texas DREAM Act Alliance &
the University Leadership Initiative

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Harvard DREAMer Detained at San Antonio Airport

Harvard Sophomore Faces Deportation to Mexico

    UPDATED 11:00 p.m.
    Eric Balderas '13, a rising sophomore in Eliot House, was detained by immigration authorities on Monday and is facing deportation to Mexico, according to the Associated Press.

    Activists and friends of the undocumented student said that Balderas was allegedly detained when he tried to use his Harvard identification to board a plane from his hometown of San Antonio, Texas to Boston, the AP reported.

    Balderas was released on Monday and is now awaiting an immigration hearing on July 6, according to his friend Mario Rodas, who created a Facebook page in light of Monday's events.

    "Eric is a model stellar student and citizen at Harvard University," the page, titled Keep Eric Home, stated. "His deportation will deprive all of us of a potential citizen whose courage, commitment, and sincere desire to help others through science can only make our country a better place."

    Balderas, who came to the United States from Mexico at the age of 4, is planning to study neurobiology at Harvard, according to the Facebook page.

    "Eric Balderas has already demonstrated the discipline and work ethic required for rigorous university work, and has, like so many of our undergraduates, expressed an interest in making a difference in the world," Christine M. Heenan, vice president for public affairs and communications, wrote in an e-mailed statement to The Crimson.

    "These dedicated young people are vital to our nation’s future, and President Faust’s support of the DREAM Act reflects Harvard’s commitment to access and opportunity for students like Eric," Heenan added.

    In May of 2009, University President Drew G. Faust wrote a letter to Mass. Representative Michael E. Capuano, declaring her strong support for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. The DREAM Act is a piece of legislation that would provide undocumented youth who qualify a six-year-long conditional path to citizenship after they have completed two years of higher education toward a degree or completed two years of military service.

    "At Harvard, we have dedicated substantial attention and resources to improve access to higher education," Faust wrote in the letter. "The DREAM Act would throw a lifeline to these students who are already working hard in our middle and high schools and living in our communities."
    The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Brandon Alvarez-Montgomery did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
    —Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Newspaper Article on DREAM Act - Houston Chronicle

    Just in case you missed it - click here to access  "Some non-citizen graduates see doors to future closing"  Houston Chronicle, May 30, 2010

    London Takes Note of the DREAMers

    "It's our country. We have American dreams too."  London Guardian, June 11, 2010

    Hunger strikers' American dreams

    A group of young hunger strikers in New York reflect a growing impatience across the US for equality for immigrants
    Immigrant students protest in New York
    Young immigrants initiated a hunger strike in front of Sen Charles Schumer's office in Manhattan. Photograph: Juan David Gastolomendo

    I asked Sonia, a student from Harlem who was born in Ecuador, how it is that she looked so energetic and, for all appearances, normal, given that it was her 10th day without eating. She laughed a little, and this is what she had to say:  "To be honest I'm losing my voice, and I feel like fainting. But I'm representing millions of undocumented students. That's what gives me energy." Sonia, 20, studies at Hunter College in midtown Manhattan, where she double majors in women and gender studies, with a minor in political science. "And a little makeup," she added with a smile.

    On a busy stretch of 3rd Avenue outside New York senator Charles Schumer's Manhattan office on 10 June, a hundred or so supporters were crowded around the small group of young people who had gone without food for 10 days and nine nights to call attention to the plight of undocumented students in the US. Every year 65,000-70,000 undocumented students graduate from US high schools, according to the New York State Youth Leadership Council, and without a valid social security number or residency permit, they find themselves ineligible for financial aid, in-state tuition at public universities, and legal employment.

    "We're tired of living in fear, we can only be pushed to the wall for so long," José Luis Zacatelco tells me, a Queens resident who studies mental health at Laguardia Community College. "I just turned 30 so I'm not doing this for myself, I'm doing it for all of these young people who want to be doctors, lawyers, engineers. We've already invested in their K-12 education, why are we stopping them from pursuing their dreams, studying to become professionals?"

    The hunger strikers camped out on Schumer's doorstep this week because he's the Senate co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, a bill that would create a pathway to residency and citizenship for immigrant youth who arrived here as children – but these students say the bill isn't moving fast enough. They want it introduced as a standalone bill immediately, and not rolled into a comprehensive immigration reform bill, which Schumer prefers, that could go either way during this feisty election year.

    This action and others like it unfolding across the country appear to mark a new impatience in an immigrant rights movement that had its coming out day in March of 2006. Maybe it's the economic crash that has made life more precarious for all of us, especially those without access to education, or the fact that deportations have risen under the Obama administration. But a major tipping point appears to have been reached with the recent controversial anti-immigrant bill passed in Arizona, which has become a flashpoint for debate on the issue, touching off boycotts, and even driving many Latino immigrants from the state.
    An immigrant student is detained An immigrant student is removed from Charles Schumer's office following a sit-in. Photograph: Alex Rivera Whatever it can be attributed to, something has shifted both in the tactics that immigrant rights activists are now using on a regular basis, and in the language they're employing to frame their demands. And there's an increasing resemblance to the language of enfranchisement that the American civil rights movement perfected in the 1960s, and the unceasing nonviolent confrontational tactics that were employed to push for landmark legislation like the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Although no arrests were reported at the Manhattan action on Thursday, a few dozen miles east three immigrant student activists from the same group staged a sit-in at Schumer's Long Island office, accompanied by Alex Rivera, an award-winning documentary filmmaker. They were removed by agents from the Federal Protective Service, detained for a short while and eventually released without charge.

    "For a long time in my life it's been fear and shame, afraid of being deported, and ashamed of being undocumented," Marco Saavedra tells me, a 20-year-old student of sociology at Kenyon College who was born in Oaxaca, Mexico.

    Marco didn't make it to day 10 – he halted his fast on the eighth day with approval by all of the other hunger strikers. He had to start a summer internship at the New York City department of education, and his fellow strikers agreed it would defeat the purpose to show up on his first day of work near starvation.
    "Getting involved in this youth movement, it's been like coming out of a depression."

    Nearby a man with a bullhorn rallies the crowd, chanting, "Up with the Dream Act" and "Schumer, Schumer, shame on you!" Passing cars honked their horns, and somebody read aloud a letter of support signed by a number of local chapters of SEIU, one of the country's biggest unions. Another local union had provided the hunger strikers with a small grant as well as another key amenity for an extended summer slumber party on the streets of midtown – port-a-potties equipped with fresh water to wash hands and faces with.

    Although the hunger strikers had demanded a meeting with Schumer it seems the senator was still in Washington and wouldn't be showing up any time soon. I left a few messages with his office, but didn't hear anything back. Outside I asked Yessica Martinez, a 17-year-old high school student from Queens what brought her out in support of the hunger strikers, and she said it's pretty simple.
    "It's our country. We have American dreams too." link

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Gutierrez, June 8 Deadline to Deliver the DREAM Act
    Thursday, June 3, 2010
    The Dream is Coming

    From: The Immigrant Youth Justice League and allies
    To: Congressman Gutierrez

    Dear Congressman Gutierrez,

    Thank you for all the work you have done to improve the conditions that immigrant families face.

    We, like you, are deeply committed to the well being of our communities and to fighting for legalization for undocumented people.

    We would like you to collaborate with us in shifting the standard for immigration reform away from enforcement and the criminalization of our communities.

    We believe that the DREAM Act can help establish a positive standard of immigration reform.

    We come here today to ask for your support in passing the DREAM Act as a standalone bill this year in order to set a positive standard for reform based on education, hard work, and fairness.

    In specific, we are asking you to help us in the following ways:

    Write a public statement supporting DREAM Act as a standalone bill this year.
    Help us push the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for commitments on pushing DREAM Act as a standalone bill as a first step for immigration reform.
    Write a public memo/ statement towards Reform Immigration for America and other Comprehensive Immigration Reform activists advocating for the DREAM Act as a standalone bill this year.

    We are asking you to please have a response to our requests on Tuesday June 8th.

    Youth all over the country are working very hard to gain co sponsors for the DREAM Act in order for it to be passed this year. As a long time ally to the undocumented immigrant community we are asking for your support and collaboration.

    Thank you once again for agreeing to meet with us and consolidating this process of collaboration for the rights of undocumented people.


    The Immigrant Youth Justice League
    link to