Editor’s note: Marlen faces deportation this Saturday, and DREAM activists around the country are asking people to call DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and ask her to stop Marlen’s deportation. If you wish to join them after reading Marlen’s story, call 202.282.8495 and say:
“I am calling to leave a message of support for Marlen Moreno, who is being deported on August 8th. I ask that Secretary Napolitano please step in to defer her deportation, as she is an asset to this country. Thank you.”
DREAM Now Letters: Marlen Moreno
The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service. With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!
Dear Mr. President,
My name is Marlen Moreno and I am undocumented. I am also a possible beneficiary of the DREAM Act. On Sunday, August 8, I will be deported.
I was born in Nacozari, Mexico in 1984. My parents brought me to the United States when I was only 13 years old. We were searching for a better life and we found it in Tucson, Arizona. Despite being born in Mexico, I don’t consider myself Mexican. I have been living in this country for over thirteen years. The United States is my country and Arizona is my home.
My parents have always told me to value education. I remember them telling me that they came to the United States, “the country of opportunity,” so I could live a better life than they did. I never took their sacrifice for granted. In 2002, I became the first and only member of my family to graduate from high school. I was proud of my achievements but scared that I could not go any further. Because of my status, I was not able to continue with my education. My goal is to become a pre-school teacher, because I believe education is the key to success. I want to help children achieve their full potential from a young age, so they can continue to excel in every aspect of their lives.
Despite my goals of higher education, I was forced to put them aside and work as an assistant cleaning houses and a maid in a hotel. This was not what I wanted to do with my life, but I was thankful for any job I was able to get. For four years, I worked hard to support myself and help my family financially knowing that someday I would be able to live out the American Dream.
In 2007, my first son was born, Freddy Alan. Thanks to him, I came to know what it means to be a mother. I never knew I could be this happy or love someone as much as I love him. I went back to work soon after his birth because I wanted to provide him with everything he deserved.