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Yesterday, Ivan with members of OneMichigan (shown in the picture on the right with Ivan holding a sign that reads: Pass the DREAM Act Now!) held a press event in support of the bi-partisan legislation called the DREAM Act that would give undocumented young people like Ivan who were brought to the United States at a young age a path to citizenship.
Priscila Martinez, an organizer with OneMichigan, said “This is a victory and it feels good to be able to help Ivan, but we need to continue working to pass the DREAM Act as soon as possible because every day we are losing a DREAMer.”
Three months ago, Ivan was detained by ICE merely because his mother missed a court-date ten years ago when he was 12. Ivan was brought to the United States from Russia when he was only eleven. His mother married a U.S. citizen and his family has lived in Michigan for the last decade. On the morning of May 5th, Ivan’s home was raided by ICE and his mother was deported back to Russia.
His story is all too familiar. According to most figures, nearly one million undocumented youth are in situations similar to Ivan’s.
For the last three months, Ivan has been imprisoned in an ICE facility where the only way he could see his family and fiancée was through a glass viewing wall in the visitation center. While Ivan was locked away, public support for his release grew. First in Michigan and then throughout the country as advocates called for his immediate release.