The Raleigh News & Observer recently featured a front-page story about how students are organizing in support of the Dream Act:
Inspired by the Civil Rights movement, the Dream Team is part of a national push by young people to the front of immigration reform.
They’ve confronted legislators, launched hunger strikes, and even announced their illegal status to draw attention to their demands.
They are calling for passage of “the Dream Act,” a legal change that would make it easier for young people to become U.S. citizens if they attend college or join the military…
“We’ve had enough,” said N.C. Dream Team co-founder Viridiana Martinez of Sanford. “We know we’re taking risks, facing arrest every time we come out. But we have to speak out for ourselves. Because if we don’t do it someone else is going to do it. And that has gotten us nowhere.”
The group formed last summer during a 13-day hunger strike in Raleigh to draw attention to the Dream Act. The name stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors.
Here at the Council, we’re excited to see this generation of young people come out of the shadows and stand against unjust immigration policies that separate families and undermine access to education. At the same time, we know these students are taking huge risks in revealing their status.
Last fall, as the Dream Act worked its way through Congress, many of our member judicatory heads joined together to support this bipartisan legislation through a powerful public statement. Here’s an excerpt:
While we look forward to the eventual passage of comprehensive immigration reform, we believe that the status quo cannot be tolerated. We urge beginning immigration reform by strongly endorsing the DREAM Act, which will unlock the door to the American dream for thousands of young people each year. We were moved by the three students engaged in a lengthy hunger strike outside Senator Kay Hagan’s office seeking her support for the DREAM Act.
Visit the NC Dream Team online: http://ncdreamteam.org
— Chris Liu-Beers, Program Associate