Ivan’s Fiancée Delivers Heartbreaking Story, Urges Immediate Action on DREAM Act
Detroit, MI – Immigration advocates and Michigan community leaders joined Allana Woolley, Ivan Nikolov’s fiancée, on a call to highlight the need for action on the DREAM Act and urge U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to step in to prevent Ivan’s deportation. Ivan, a resident and student in the United States since the age of 11, is being held by ICE and has been facing deportation since an arrest on May 5th.
“My fiancé, Ivan, has called America home since the age of 11 and is an American in every way, except for a piece of paper,” said Allana Woolley. “He is the perfect example of why the DREAM Act should be passed – he’s worked hard and wants to contribute to our community. Secretary Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton should listen to the community and let Ivan fix his papers and stay with his family, here in Michigan. Talented immigrant youth are assets to this country and should be realizing their potential instead of languishing in jails across America.”
The DREAM Act – an immigration reform measure authored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) – is supported by 70 percent of likely voters and has garnered bipartisan support in Congress. The legislation would provide a path to permanent residency for thousands of young people who have been raised in the United States, worked hard in school, and who want to pursue higher education or to serve in the military. The DREAM Act would be an important down payment on the commitment that the President and leaders in Congress have made to passing comprehensive immigration reform, and should pass this year.
Leaders echoed Woolley’s call to halt Ivan’s deportation and press for the DREAM Act. “Immigration reform is truly a pressing civil rights issue,” said Pastor Charles Williams of King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, “A family has been broken apart, and a life is about to be shattered, because Congress doesn’t have the courage to fix the system. We need our leaders to stand up straight and do what is right before it is too late.”
“Ivan’s case is the perfect example of the urgent need of changes in our immigration laws,” said Lizbeth Mateo, Co-founder, DREAM Team L.A. “Every day we hear of hard working, talented students like Ivan who are facing deportation, which is why youth-led organizations like Dream Team Los Angeles, DreamActivist.org and many more continue to push for the immediate passage of the DREAM Act. We will continue doing our part, but we need Congress to step up and address this issue immediately.”
Irene Kepler, Macomb County Commissioner, continued the call for reform by saying, “In Roseville, we value our heritage as a nation of immigrants. It’s a tragedy that young people like Ivan, who could be part of the next generation of Macomb County’s leaders, face an uncertain future. We need to make sure that something as simple as a paperwork error, in this case a mis-filed change of address form, doesn’t result in a whole family facing deportation.”
“Ivan embodies the core values of America yet our broken system means he is about to be torn from his family and sent back to what is now a foreign land to him in Russia,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “His story, along with countless others from hard working students and residents in this country, underscore the need for immediate action by Congress. Our political leaders must put aside partisan politics and pass DREAM Act legislation in September and use that momentum to enact comprehensive immigration reform early next year. Senator Reid’s recent call for action on the DREAM Act this fall provides the perfect opportunity for legislative action.”
Ivan, who has been engaged to his fiancée for three years, is facing imminent deportation to Russia, despite spending most of his life living in Michigan and attending American schools.
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