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DREAM Now Series: Letter from Yahaira Carrillo to President Barack Obama

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 07/21/2010 at 4:13pm

Yahaira is an undocumented immigrant from Guerrero, Mexico who has lived in Missouri since she was 8 years old. After graduating in the top of her high school class, she is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree. Yahaira had hoped to enter the U.S. Marines, but left the ROTC program after realizing she wouldn’t be able to pursue a career in the military. Read Yahaira’s story in her own words below, in an excerpt from letter she wrote to President Obama.

Editor’s Note: In case you missed it, the DREAM Now letter series launched this summer, with a letter from DREAM Act student Mohammad Abdollahi — check it out over at Crooks and Liars. The first featured letter-writer, Mohammad, helped to organize a week of DREAM mobilization in DC, which consisted of lobby visits, a “mock graduation,” and rallies. The mobilization took a controversial turn yesterday, as 21 young people engaged in civil disobedience in the nation’s capitol to highlight the urgency they feel for moving the legislation — the youth risked deportation because of their immigration status.  

Senator Reid was quoted on his desire to move forward on the DREAM Act, with comprehensive reform stalled, but much work remains to ensure DREAM passes.

The DREAM Now letters to follow each week, from undocumented young people who feel they must tell their stories, will be used to call attention to the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act without further delay. Please get involved by posting the letters on your blog, your facebook or twitter profiles, or wherever you can. Together we can make the DREAM Act a reality for the million or more young people whose lives are now on hold, waiting for this critical legislation — a stepping stone to full immigration reform that 70% of Americans support.

—Jackie


An excerpt from today’s DREAM Now Letter: Yahaira Carrillo (Click here to read Yahaira’s full letter to President Obama, including news of her arrest yesterday):

…I was born in 1985 to a barely-turned 16 year-old who had been kicked out of her house while she was pregnant for being a disgrace to the family. I lived with my mother in an abandoned house in Guerrero, Mexico. She struggled to find work, but was either harassed or asked for sexual favors. She said no. She was 17 in 1986 when the 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico. She decided to take me to the U.S., but we didn’t stay that long. At my grandmother’s request, we returned to Mexico. The hits kept coming: my mother ended an abusive relationship with a military man and feared for her life.

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