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DREAM Now Letters to Barack Obama: Lizbeth Mateo

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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.

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Lizbeth Mateo and I am undocumented. On May 17th, on the 56th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, I, along with Mohammad Abdollahi, Yahaira Carrillo and two others, became the first undocumented students to risk deportation by staging a sit-in inside Senator McCain’s office in Tucson, Arizona, to demand the immediate passage of the DREAM Act. As a result of that sit-in we were arrested, turned over to ICE, and we now face deportation.

I came to this country when I was fourteen-years-old from Oaxaca, Mexico.  It was the late nineties and Mexico was, and is still, facing one of the worst socio-economic and political periods in recent history. For my parents – a taxi driver and a stay-at-home-mom that were struggling to make ends meet-  it was clear that they would have to choose between seeing their children starve and get sick, or risk it all, leave everything behind and relocate the family to Southern California with hopes of a better future. In 1998 we moved to Los Angeles and have lived here, since.