Saturday, July 17, 2010

See for Yourself, Feel for yourself
Trail of Dreams
Posted on June 16, 2010 by felipe

Call me an emotional person but I can't deny the fact that every time I wake up and I remember people I met along the trail, I cry. It's the constant thought that their pain still continues and our plight has not been addressed by our President and Congress. It simply a form of anguish to be in uncertainty for my future and those of millions I care about. I am particularly tired of the hot potato game they play with our lives, specially the lives of undocumented youth and children in this country. The back and forth between the administration and congress, democrats and republicans, is unacceptable. Our community worked hard in the process of electing the first African American president with the hopes that somehow he would understand our plight. I am honestly tired of the back and forth between parties as to who has the responsibility over our lives. Our last meeting with Ms. Valerie Jarrett was not any different. Our president decided once again to not deliver a sensible first step towards a more humane and just immigration system. Is it wrong for us to ask for our peers to not get deported and for families to stay united? This is all we asked!

We were strong on our ask -an executive order to halt the detention/deportation of youth and to end family separation. We tried to mantain our composure but in the process of relaying the message and describing the pain and terror that people live under in Arizona and across the country, we choked up and started crying. Honestly, I've never broken down like this so suddenly in a meeting. I told Ms. Jarret about my friend Lesli from South Florida who was picked up by border patrol in a train station on her way to school. After we were able to finally achieve her release from detention, her whole family was issued orders of removal in retaliation for our activism. Is this the so called "criminals" that the administration is supposely pursuing?

Our message was clear: the administartion's campaign against dangerous criminals does not correlate with the actions that homeland security has taken in rounding up hard-working parents and studious peers. The only think we have seen is an increment of enforcement without any type of relief. They sent 1,200 troops to the border and yet they do not want to give us protection so we could have some breathing room. The current statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security show that only 10% of the deportations are individuals with previous criminal convictions. If a person can only do 10% of their work correctly he or she would immediately be replaced by someone else who is more apt for the job. Yet our administration wants us to feel satisfied by "we are trying hard to look into the matter” statement. We are tired of people just watching the suffering take place; we demand positive action for the just and humane treatment of all immigrants. I kept asking myself if they would say the same thing to children who were left orphaned because their parents were deported or a young person who is losing hope due to their undocumented status. We can't settle for any defeats anymore because each day millions have to go to sleep petrified of their unbearable present and uncertain futures.

We need our administration and congress to realize our DREAM and end our nightmare. Our movement for just and humane immigration reform should be built on victories instead of defeats. That's why we need the DREAM Act to pass before the end of the summer. It is our moral imperative for leaders in the immigrant rights movement to work together with different politicians in Congress to deliver a piece of legislation that is long overdue. I can't wait for another of my friends to be ripped from me because we are still asking ourselves whether the DREAM Act is a worthy cause. However, President Obama with just a signature could stop the nightmare that 287g poses on our families and stop the detention and deportations of those we most love. We want him to come out with us and see firsthand the pain in the eyes of children that will not see their families because of his enforcement only policy. We hope that he will take us up on this offer.
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