As DREAMers lined up to attend events around the country yesterday to learn more about the deferred action process and get help filling out their applications, America’s Voice decided to honor the day by sharing with our list of advocates the true meaning of the day — straight from the DREAMers themselves.
With help from our intern, Mariella Saavedra, we put together an email with pictures and quotes from DREAMers who shared how deferred action will change their lives.
Almost immediately, we started receiving encouraging emails from our activists:
“You have so much to give, and all your work will be much more notable with the open doors in your future,” said Maria from Texas.
And Richard from California wrote in: “I am very delighted that we are beginning to see change in attitude…”
And then there were messages of congratulations:
“Congratulations to all of you,” said Angela from Virginia. “You earned it. You are marvelous examples of Americans. It was always the right thing for America to do. Please get people to vote so we keep doing the right thing. 99% of us can change what 1% dictates if we vote and keep advocating for the right thing. Vaya con Dios, Amigo and fellow American.”
And Ramona from Maine gave her love and praise to the DREAMers: “Praise The Lord!! I’m so pleased with this report and I wish each and everyone of you a Blessed life of good education, love and that all your dreams come true. For anybody willing to work for themselves instead of taking from others I truly appreciate you effort!! Be Happy and stay well! God Bless You one and all!:
And a more simple “You folks are beautiful….God’s blessings on you all!” from Tom in Virginia.
Some were moved enough to share their own stories. Meme from Oregon tells hers, and encouraged DREAMers to continue to fight for their rights:
Congratulations my friends!! I’m not an undocumented immigrant; however, I did face deportation a couple of years ago. I was detained, without due process for three and a half years by ICE and it took me five years of fighting until I won my case. It took ICE one more year to give me my LPR card, and I only got my life back two years ago!! But I never gave up my fight. I realized that in order to have your rights, you (we) must fight for them…So my friends, never give up and keep on fighting every step of the way — court by court; county by county and state by state!…”
And Matthew from Connecticut shared a personal, heart-breaking story that highlights the importance of pushing for permanent status for DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants:
Today’s announcement is a bittersweet one for me. I have long supported immigration rights and reform. My great grandparents immigrated to this country (undocumented) from Ireland.
I became actively involved when I had to let a young man go who worked for me because his social security number came back as invalid. It was then that he told me his story. His mother brought him to this country from Guatemala when he was 14 years old. She applied for permanent residency for herself, his sister and him a couple of years later. Then he told her he was gay. At the age of 16 she locked him out of the house and never followed up on any of his paperwork. He has been on his own ever since. Since then, both his mother and sister have gained permanent residency. He is still in limbo. I hired an attorney to represent him and he is awaiting a hearing but the lawyer tells him not to get his hopes up because even if he gets a hearing, the chances of staying are slim. He has nowhere to go and unfortunately, President’s Obama’s arbitrary cutoff date of 30 years old leaves him off the list. (He is 33 now) He has been here 17 years. He has nowhere to go, nowhere to turn to. He cannot work. He cannot go to college.
So I am happy for those who have benefited but for my friend Gio, there is only more uncertainty. More hiding in the shadows trying to just hang on one more day.
To view a slideshow of the images that our supporters were reacting to, see below: