Saturday, July 17, 2010

Report- Meeting with Key Senatorial Leadership
Trail of Dreams

Posted on June 23, 2010 by gaby

I was given the opportunity to participate at a meeting last week with key Senators. The purpose of this meeting was to talk about how to move immigration reform forward. Invitations to this meeting went out to every sector of the movement. Some of the people present at the meeting were Farm Workers Alliances, NCLR, SEIU, RI4A, and about 20 other national organizations.

We were escorted to a room in the capitol-building. Not having ID’s is always and issue when trying to enter the capitol, it doesn't help for us to be youth without “proper” documentation, but thankfully school ID’s worked this time.

Once we entered the room, I noticed there was only 8 seats along one side of a table. They told us that the Senators where going to sit in front of those 8 chairs. Since I was one of the first people to walk in, I took one of the 8 seats and saved one for Carlos Saavedra.

We sat patiently waiting for the Senators to come in. The first one to arrive was Senator Reid. He joked with us about the other Senators always being late. Shortly after a parade of well respected and long serving Senators entered and sat down.

At the meeting each Senator had the opportunity to speak and state their belief on immigration. It was a spectrum of ideals. Some believe in the Comprehensive approach others in the building blocks.

Ali Noorani was the first to speak. In his statement, he said that their first priority is the 11 million people but that they supported Agjobs and the DREAM act.

Then, I made my case. I told the Senators that we would stand behind them if they did the right thing. I talked about the frustration of the youth and the actions we were taking to move DREAM Act forward.

Others spoke about Agjobs and other in support of the comprehensive approach.

In the end, I saw a growing sentiment to move DREAM. DREAM definitely dominated the conversation.

What was not clear at the meeting was the way to move these legislations. There is a large concern that if DREAM is moved as a stand alone bill, meaning its put on the floor to be debated, anti-immigrant amendments will be added to it.

The result and what we took from this meeting is that we need to unite. We should be ready to fight hard when DREAM is put on the floor for a vote. I cant wait for that day to come, when DREAM passes there is going to be a combination of laughs and tears.

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