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Elisa Benitez: 919-883-6962

Riverside HS Graduate Seeks Humanitarian Parole

Former Durham Resident Fears He Will be Victim of Violence

Durham, NC – Felipe de Jesus Molina Mendoza, a 2009 graduate of Riverside High School, will be formally requesting humanitarian parole at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California at Noon, today.

Felipe de Jesus moved to Durham at the age of eight to join his mother who wanted to give him the chance to grow, find a career and become someone in life.

Felipe de Jesus studied hard and graduated from Riverside High School. When it came time to apply for college, North Carolina did not recognize him as a resident. As his friends chose colleges and applied for scholarships, Felipe was overwhelmed with sadness at being left behind. His family could not afford out-of-state tuition, which was more than twice as expensive, and he did not qualify for financial aid due to his status. He gave up on his life in the United States and returned to Mexico to continue his education.

Since arriving in Mexico City, Felipe de Jesus has struggled to earn enough money to continue his education. He experiences regular verbal abuse, even from police officers, because he is gay. In addition to this abuse, he fears he could be a target of violence because of his sexual orientation. He has grown more fearful as kidnappings, robberies and killings increase in the city around him. Felipe de Jesus refuses to give up on his dreams of going to college and having a career, but he needs his family’s support to fulfill those dreams.

Felipe de Jesus is the target of violence because of his sexual orientation.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to qualify for humanitarian parole an individual must face a “compelling emergency.”

We urge Customs and Border Protection to grant Felipe de Jesus humanitarian parole immediately.

For more info:


***A vigil organized by his family, friends and community supporting Felipe and more families within the #BringThemHome campaign will be held TODAY:

Where: Iglesia Hispana Emmanuel, 2504 N Roxboro St., Durham, NC 27704

When: TODAY, Thursday March 13th @ 6pm



Erick Lopez


Burlington, NC Youth Seeking Asylum

Lifelong Burlington resident seeking to return home

Burlington, NC — Alamance County community will gather this Friday at Burlington City Park as Emanuel Mejia-Lopez  (A# 206-270-536) tries to return home.through the #BringThemHome campaign which seeks to reunite families He is currently being held at San Diego Correctional Facility and he is being processed by immigration authorities. Emanuel grew up in Alamance County. He graduated from Williams High School in 2007 and earned an Associate’s degree at Alamance Community College. Emanuel’s dream is to study medicine because he believes that everyone deserves access to medical care and he dreams to be able to provide that to others. After graduating from ACC, he tried to transfer to a four-year university. Unable to pay the out-of-state tuition rate, he was forced to move to Mexico, a country he barely knows since he was brought to Burlington as a child. In February of 2012, Emanuel had to abandon his home in order to pursue his dreams of becoming a doctor. He fears for his safety in Mexico, where he struggles to speak the language and has been robbed at gunpoint. Emanuel has done nothing wrong, his family needs him back home in Burlington, and North Carolina needs him!

Family, friends, and supporters of Emanuel will be holding a candlelight vigil to support him coming back to the United States from Mexico.

WHAT: Vigil to Bring Emanuel Home

WHERE: The Friendship Fountain at Burlington City Park, 1350 S. Main St., Burlington, NC

WHEN: FRIDAY, March 14th @ 6:00PM

This past Monday, March 10th, Emanuel began a journey back to his loved ones requesting humanitarian parole into the country  through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego.


Emanuel belongs to a group of people that were deported or forced to leave the United States because of programs supported by the Obama Administration like 287g and Secure Communities. State laws denying immigrants access to a college education, jobs, and housing also make life incredibly difficult. Some grew tired of living in constant fear here. However, upon leaving their homes, they found life even more difficult. Emanuel’s future is in Alamance County. He is one of many.

More Info:


Local Immigrant Families Come Together to Support Their Loved Ones Crossing the Border

#BringThemHome campaign offers hope, a chance to fight fear of deportation

 Charlotte, NC — The NC Dream Team is holding a ‘Coming Out of the Shadows’ event to support local families whose loved ones are returning to the United States from Mexico as part of the national #BringThemHome campaign.

WHAT: Vigil For Loved Ones Coming Home

WHERE: 100 E. Trade St, Charlotte, NC

WHEN: MONDAY, March 10th @ 6:00PM 

 This month, the Obama Administration will hit its two-millionth deportation. March is month undocumented youth have used for the past several years to declare themselves ‘undocumented and unafraid’. March is a special time for the movement, when many participated in ‘coming out’ rallies, speaking about their undocumented status publicly for the first time.

Families gathered last Tuesday in Durham, NC at Iglesia El Buen Pastor as family members of loved ones returning home declared themselves as ‘Undocumented & Unafraid.’ Families will gather once more in Charlotte, NC on the eve of their loved ones coming back.

NC Bring Them HomeFamilies of Loved Ones Coming Home to North Carolina

 “This year, we will use our Coming Out of the Shadows rallies to tell the movement that the fight to keep families together does not end with deportation,” says Elisa Benitez, a member of the NC Dream Team. “Our community is coming together to support the families whose loved ones are coming home.”

This will be the third time the #BringThemHome campaign has fought for immigrants who were deported or forced to leave their homes in the United States. On Monday, they will begin the long journey back to their loved ones across the country after crossing the border in San Diego.

The participants in this third border-crossing were deported or forced to leave the United States because of programs supported by the Obama Administration like 287g and Secure Communities. State laws denying immigrants access to a college education, jobs, or housing also made life incredibly difficult. Some were just tired of living in fear, and returned. However, upon leaving their homes, they found life even more difficult.

The #BringThemHome campaign is the only way these families can be reunited. We will fight until everyone whose lives were built on this side of the border have a chance to return home.

For more info:


Sunday, December 22nd,  2013



Jose Rico


DREAMers Push for In-State-Tuition by Christmas

Undocumented Youth to Rally Outside AG Roy Cooper 

Raleigh, NC—On Tuesday of last week, Rep. Marcus Brandon formerly requested the Office of the Attorney General Roy Cooper for a legal written opinion weather Undocumented youth beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are eligible to receive in-state tuition in the State of North Carolina.

Undocumented Youth led groups like the NC Dream Team, Immigrant Youth Forum, and the One State One Rate Campaign issued a press conference last Thursday announcing the news to the community and press about the ask to AG Roy Cooper. The campaign to get the word out to the Attorney General has been escalating, with a petition, calls, and undocumented students stressing the importance to get in-state tuition rates for the upcoming semester, but it hasn’t been enough.

Undocumented Students, community supporters, teachers, and families will be gathering at the Office of the Attorney General.


Monday, December 23rd, 2013 @ 11:30am


NC Department of Justice

Office of the Attorney General

114 W Edenton St

Raleigh, NC

“I am worried, I am frustrated, that when January comes around undocumented students will still be paying out-of state tuition. It is simply unjust. It is simply unfair. We are graduates of N.C high schools. North Carolina is our home and we should not be treated as out-of-state students. Attorney General Roy Cooper, we need in-state-tuition Now!” Said, DACA student from Creedmoor, NC

For more info please visit and

FB event:


Tuesday, December 17, 2013



Viridiana Martinez

NC Dreamers Push for In-State Tuition

State Rep. Marcus Brandon Requests Written Opinion from Attorney General Cooper

Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina “One State, One Rate” Campaign and the NC Dream Team is pleased to announce that State Representative Marcus Brandon has formally requested a written opinion from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office as to whether undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition at institutions of higher learning in North Carolina.

For 20-year-old Lexington resident Ricsy Sanchez who has lived in North Carolina for 9 years, the struggle to gain in-state tuition has had a real impact: “Right after high school, my plan was to go straight to university. I wanted to major in biology. After I graduated from Davidson County Community College, I was accepted to UNC Chapel Hill but I was unable to attend because I was charged out-of-state tuition.”

DREAMers in North Carolina have been spearheading efforts to obtain in-state tuition for undocumented youth. Last week, the UNC Faculty Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the University of North Carolina system to grant “in-state tuition and financial aid to all people without regard to immigration status.”

** Please note that a more detailed press release will be released on Wednesday.

For more information, visit and

Visit our online petition at


Join us this Saturday for two events hosted by the Immigrant Youth Forum 


COMICS SPEAK! Comic Book Release and Book Signing Event

Date: Saturday, November 2nd

Time: 12:00 – 3:00 pm

Location: Ultimate Comics (6120 Farrington Rd. Durham, NC 27517)

Since early March, a group of Black, Latino, and multiethnic teens have been working with visual artist Luis Franco and poet and writer Kane Smego at Chapel Hill’s Street Scene Teen Center to discuss racial identity and issues of racism through the expressive medium of the graphic novel or comic book. “Comics Speak!” was inspired by a community need for expression, discussion, and collaboration. Now they are finally ready to release the final product: a professional quality comic book in color print!
Through a series of workshops and homework, the teens have been coached in the development of their character’s persona through writing poems about themselves and their personal experiences with racism. They then crafted story lines, created storyboards and plot sequences, and drew and colored the various frames to bring their superheroes to life on the pages of their very own comic.The goal was to empower youth of color to use the arts to confront the obstacles they and their communities face on a regular basis, as well as celebrate the vibrant cultural identities they possess. In the words of one of the young artists and member of the Immigrant Youth Forum, Gerardo Alvarez, “This program allowed me to use my art skills to deliver an important message to my community.” “Comics Speak!” is a collaboration between the Chapel Hill Public & Cultural Arts Office, Sacrificial Poets, NC Dream Team, and The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism.
The group will celebrate the publishing of their new book with a release party at Ultimate Comics in Durham on Saturday, November 2. Students will be on hand to sign books and discuss their achievement. The event is free and open to the public.

 Saturday, November 2nd
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: St. Thomas Moore Church (940 Carmichael St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Come out to St. Thomas Moore and join the Immigrant Youth Forum to learn about Immigration Reform, Jobs, Education, and Stopping Deportations. This will be a potluck, so please bring food to share. Find out about how you can get involved!
Vengan a Saint Thomas More con IYF para aprender sobre la reforma migratoria, trabajos, educación, y deportación. Habrá un convivio entonces, si pueden traer comida por favor traiganlo. Vengan y aprendan como se pueden involucrar y ayudar.
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
Contact: Santiago Garcia
Rally to Support Edgar and Eloy: Victims of Workplace Exploitation and Fraud
Expedite Adjudication of U-Visa Supplement for Forced Labor & Worker’s Compensation Fraud Victims
National–Edgar Rolando Vazquez-Canto (A#205-503-535) and Eloy Flores Martin del Campo (A# 205-503-445) are currently being held at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, FL, where they have been for several months in spite of being victims of crime byWastePro USA for nearly seven years in some cases. ICE visited the criminal and immigration attorneys of these individuals, and despite the victims having cooperated with a potential investigation, testifying to the abuses and fraud that they were victims of, all are currently being detained, and false charges against them have never been dropped, much less investigated.
Edgar and Eloy are victims of workplace exploitation and fraud. They were forced to pay middle managers money under the constant threat of deportation. They are victims of wage theft, fraud, forced labor, constant threats of deportation, and exploitation.
Join members of the NC Dream Team, as we hold a rally to support Edgar and Eloy:
When: Thursday, August 29th, 2013 @ 1:00pm
Where: NC Department of Labor. 4 W Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Exploited workers should be able to go to the Department of Labor for protection from these abuses. WastePro USA must be stopped!
We urge the Department of Labor to take leadership and expedite the adjudication of U-Visa supplement for Edgar and Eloy for their fair chance to stop their deportations. Release the WastePro workers victims of fraud, exploitation, and forced labor before they are deported like several others before them have.
The NC DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies. We are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize our individual and collective power to activate our communities. We also aim to create awareness of the broader struggle for social justice. We do not shy away from purposeful direct action and civil disobedience in the pursuit of a more just future for our immigrant community.

By: José Rico

My name is Jose Rico and I am a Community College student here in North Carolina. In fact, I have been a community college student for the past five years. Why so long? As an undocumented student,  I do not qualify for in-state tuition nor am I eligible to receive any federal financial aid. Wanna know the whole spiel, read it here:

Community Colleges Guidelines PicThe UNC-System also has a similar policy, which you can read here:

UNC-System Undocumented PolicyNow, has it always been this way? The answer is No. At the community college level, the policies for undocumented students has changed five times over the last decade*. At one time, each college adopted each own policy, some of them even banned undocumented students.   Here at the North Carolina Dream Team, we have advocated for educational opportunities and tuition equity since our founding. In fact, our very first action was a hunger strike in May 2010 to push Senator Kay Hagan to co-sponsor the Dream Act. The result? She voted against it.

As of right now, there are 12 states in the Untied States that have their own versions of the Dream Act. North Carolina, is still keeping undocumented students like me in the shadows, and allow schools like Wake Tech to implement policies that are keeping us “at the back of the bus” when it comes to registration. Here is an email sent by the admissions office at Wake Technical Community College:

Wake Tech email 1Wake Tech email 2If you notice, this email was sent to all the students identified by Wake Tech to be undocumented. If you look closely you’ll see that this was sent for the registration period for the Spring of 2013. Classes for the Spring began on January 7th, but the college forces all undocumented students to register a week after classes had begun.  Most of the time this limits us from registering for any math or physics courses or classes for which a professional license will be needed to work at the end of the program of study; like a nursing degree. THESE POLICIES ARE UNJUST, UNFAIR AND DISCRIMINATORY.

We must take a stand, so join us one more time to ask for in-state-tuition to ALL North Carolina students.

Where? Wake Technical Community College, Main Campus,  9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, NC

When? Thursday, August 15th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

NC Dream Team

*As of Monday, August 5th, NCCCS have opted to once again change their policy to allow DACA youth to register at the same time as all the other students; still leaving undocumented youth behind and charging both DACA and non-DACA students out-of-state tuition.



**English below**

“Comics Speak!” Proyecto de Arte Ayuda a Adolescentes a Expresar Sus Pensamientos sobre Identidad y el Racismo

Presentación Final: Viernes, Mayo 17 de 6:00 – 8:00 pm en el ArtsCenter de Carrboro

(Chapel Hill, NC)  Mexinegro, un Moreno, Mexicano, superhéroe multiétnico que lucha en contra de villanos racistas no es fácilmente reconocido como el personaje de un héroe, o por lo menos, aún no. Pero, si los quince adolescentes participando en el proyecto “Comics Speak!” tienen la última palabra, éste y otros personajes llegarán a ser tan conocidos como el “Iron Man o Wolverine”. Desde el principio de Febrero, un grupo de jóvenes Morenos, Latinos, y multiétnicos han estado trabajando con el artista visual Luis Franco y el poeta y escritor Kane Smego en el Centro de adolescentes Street Scene para crear sus cómics como parte del proyecto “Comics Speak!” El proyecto es una colaboración entre el público de Chapel Hill y la Oficina de Artes Culturales, Sacrificial Poets, Volunteers for Youth, NC Dream Team, y Ella Baker Woman’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism. El proyecto une a jóvenes Afroamericanos, Latinos y multiétnicos para hablar sobre la identidad racial y el racismo por medio del cómic. En las palabras de uno de los artistas jóvenes, Gerardo Alvarez, “Este programa me ha permitido usar mis habilidades artísticas para entregar un mensaje importante a mi comunidad.”

Por medio de una serie de doce talleres, cada sábado por la mañana, y su trabajo fuera de la escuela, estos jóvenes han sido entrenados en el desarrollo de su personaje, a través de poemas escritos sobre ellos mismos y sus experiencias con el racismo. De ahí, crearon su historia, hicieron un guión gráfico, dibujaron y colorearon los varios cuadros para dar vida a los superhéroes en cada pagina de su cómic. Habrá una exhibición del arte y poesía de los jóvenes, en el ArtsCenter en Carrboro el 17 de Mayo de 6-8 pm. La exhibición es gratis y abierto al público, y le dará la oportunidad a la comunidad de hablar con estos artistas jóvenes y hacerles preguntas sobre su proyecto.

“Comics Speak!” nació como respuesta a la necesidad dentro de la comunidad, de expresión, discusión, y colaboración. El propósito era dar fuerza a jóvenes de color y usar su arte como una forma de confrontar los obstáculos que ellos y sus comunidades enfrentan a diario. Pero también queríamos celebrar sus identidades y culturas vibrantes. El proyecto dió espacio e instrucción para que estos jóvenes puedan formar una relación e identificar estos temas usando arte visual y poesía como forma de comunicarse con su comunidad. El proyecto fue una extensión de dos talleres previos realizados por Sacrificial Poets de Chapel Hill, que identificaron el deseo de jóvenes de utilizar el arte para expresarse de una manera que fuera positiva y afirmando sus identidades.

El proyecto fue comisionado por el Público de Chapel Hill y la Oficina de Artes Culturales como parte de su anual “Into the Streets: Community Art Projects,” que conecta a artistas con grupos de la comunidad para crear arte temporal o permanente que directamente involucra y beneficia a las comunidades de Chapel Hill y Carrboro.

Acerca de la Oficina del Público y Artes Culturales

La oficina de Público de la ciudad de Chapel Hill y la Oficina de Artes Culturales, una división del Departamento de Parques y Recreación, desarrolla e implementa programas de arte para aumentar el acceso del público a las artes, provee oportunidades para que artistas locales puedan mostrar su trabajo y promover el entendimiento y conocimiento del público en las artes. La Oficina está aconsejada por y trabaja con la Comisión de Artes Puúblicas de Chapel Hill, una comisión de 11 miembros voluntarios establecido en 1992 y apuntado por el Ayuntamiento.

Contacto: Jeffrey York, Administrador de Artes Publicas,, (919) 968-2750

# # #


“Comics Speak!” Art Project Helps Teens Express Their Thoughts about Identity and Racism 

Final Presentation: Friday May 17 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro 

(Chapel Hill, NC)   Blexican, a Black, Mexican, multiethnic super hero who fights racist villains is not a readily recognized super hero persona, at least not yet.  However, if the fifteen teens participating in the “Comics Speak!” project have their say, this character and others will become as well-known as Iron man or Wolverine.  Since early February, a group of Black, Latino, and multiethnic teens have been working with visual artist, Luis Franco, and poet and writer, Kane Smego, at the Street Scene Teen Center to create their comics as part of the “Comics Speak!” project.  The project is a collaboration between the Chapel Hill Public & Cultural Arts Office, Sacrificial Poets, Volunteers for Youth, NC Dream Team, and The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism.  The project brings together African American, Latino, and multiethnic youth to discuss racial identity and issues of racism through the expressive medium of the graphic novel or comic book. In the words of one of the young artists, Gerardo Alvarez, “This program allowed me to use my art skills to deliver an important message to my community.”

Through a series of twelve, Saturday morning workshops, and work outside of class, the teens have been coached in the development of their character’s persona through writing poems about their selves and their own experiences with racism.  They then crafted story lines, created storyboards and plot sequences, and then drew and colored the various frames to bring their super heroes to life on the pages of their very own comic.   The teen’s artwork and poetry will debut in an exhibition at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro on May 17 from 6-8 pm.  The exhibition and performance is free and open to the public, and will give the community an opportunity to speak with the youth artists and ask them questions about the project.

“Comics Speak!” grew out of a response to a community need for expression, discussion, and collaboration.  The goal was to empower youth of color to use the arts to confront the obstacles they and their communities face on a regular basis, as well as celebrate the vibrant cultural identities they possess.  The project provided space and instruction for these youth to connect and identify these issues, by using both visual art and spoken word as a means of communicating with the community at large. The project was an extension of two earlier community workshops conducted by Chapel Hill’s Sacrificial Poets that identified a desire for an artistic means of expression for the teens that was positive and identity-affirming.

The project was commissioned by the Chapel Hill Public & Cultural Arts Office as part of their yearly Into the Streets: Community Art Projects, which connects artists with community groups to create temporary or more permanent artwork that directly engages and benefits the communities in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

About the Office of Public & Cultural Arts

The Town of Chapel Hill’s Public and Cultural Arts Office, a division of the Parks & Recreation Department, develops and implements art programs to increase public access to the arts, provides opportunities for local artists to display their work, and promotes public understanding and awareness of the arts. The Office is advised by and works collaboratively with the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission, an 11-member volunteer board established in 1992 and appointed by the Town Council.

Contact: Jeffrey York, Public Arts Administrator,, (919) 968-2750

# # #

Next Monday DMVs across North Carolina will be re-issuing drivers
licenses to DACA youth. The pink striped licenses that will be issued
to us have been bashed as discriminatory and getting one may even be seen by some as being complicit in the government’s signaling out of undocumented people. I’ve been in conversations in which documented people look at me as if they want to save me… they are outraged that this is happening and some have even apologized for the outright discrimination the state is engaged in. The funny thing about that is that I’m not outraged…not at all. I’ve already won this battle. In fact, I won it back in 2010 when I declared myself to be undocumented and unafraid. All I need now is a license that forces the government to acknowledge me and my position as an undocumented person who refuses to be afraid and live in the shadows. A regular license would not accomplish that so thank you, North Carolina!

We’re on the same page. This has been more about dropping the fear than anything else.

The truth is that the alternative to a pink striped license came close
to being nothing at all. I’m going to check my privilege here because
the fact is that throughout the period that I have this license I will
have deferred action and that means I won’t be deported. Even if I
decided to not get a license, I would still not be risking the same
thing by driving without a license because deportation would be off
the table…even if only temporarily. There are others in my community that don’t have this privilege. My parents and older brothers and sisters certainly don’t. Having a drivers license in the family will be good no matter what color the license is. For me to not get one or to get caught up in picking a fight about how discriminatory this license will be is closing the door on an opportunity to open a conversation about drivers licenses for all undocumented people.

Again, the color that it comes in is secondary to the goal of empowerment that allows us to take this licenses and force them to be on our terms with an added level of accountability for the
discrimination that will happen no matter what.

At the NC DREAM Team we may have different opinions and some of us will get one of these licenses and others of us will decide not to.
The bottom line, though, is that we will drive without fear.

As the NC DREAM Team our priority is to help undocumented youth
recognize our individual and collective power. We seek to activate our communities and escalate in our efforts. We are guided by the voices of those directly affected:

· We welcome these licenses as an opportunity for some of us to have
an option that we did not have before.

· We are not safer with a regular license because discrimination still
happens on the basis of our skin color and the perceived immigration
status. At the end of the day we are still subject to deportation and harassment from law enforcement no matter what kind of license we get issued.

· Undocumented youth in North Carolina have been coming out as
undocumented, unafraid and unashamed since 2010. We will not allow a pink stripe to re-instate the shame that we gave up feeling with the empowerment of our community.

We aim to be empowered to get a pink striped license and take it as an opportunity to be undocumented and unafraid because we know how to fight back. If you are undocumented and were previously issued a regular license then go ahead and put that pink tape on your drivers license! You are undocumented. No need to hide it. Be empowered by it!

We are taking these licenses and engaging in this fight knowing that
the biggest and most important battle is the one in our head that
leads us to our own individual liberation independent of politicians,
policies, anti-immigrant groups, allies, the non-profit industrial
complex and anything and anyone in between.
No Fear

Join us on March 25th at 3:30pm at the DMV at 2431 Spring Forest Road North Raleigh, Unit 101, NC 27615. We will rally to declare that we will drive without fear!

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