by Viridiana B. Martinez

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Dear Friends, Family, and Supporters:
The past 5 years have been a learning experience. From helping start the first undocumented youth led organization in North Carolina, to coming out of the shadows as undocumented and unafraid, to participating in civil disobedience and stopping deportations. I’ve even gone as far as turning myself in to immigration authorities, placing me in deportation proceedings. It’s been this struggle that has allowed me to put together the pieces of the puzzle: Although I have lived as an undocumented immigrant for the past 20 years, I have discovered that I am actually a U.S. citizen. This is why today, I am reaching out to you in hopes that you can help me gather the evidence I need to claim my citizenship.
Make a donation here: http://www.gofundme.com/viridiana
My claim to citizenship starts with my grandfather who was born in the United States. I need to travel to his place of birth in Texas to gather evidence of his time spent there. Once I have gathered all the evidence required, I will be submitting form N-600 to claim my citizenship. The fee for this submission to USCIS is $600. Your contributions will go towards this fee and travel expenses to get to Texas and back to North Carolina for my third immigration court hearing in Charlotte on April 15, 2014.
If you’d like more information, you can call me at (919) 704-0599 or email me at ispeakingles@gmail.com.
Thank you for your support today and always!
Sincerely,
Viridiana

Valentine's Karaoke Night THIS FRIDAY !!!

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Contact: Viridiana Martinez

Cell: (919) 704-0599

 

Father of Eastway and Northern students scheduled for deportation on Tuesday night

Supporters will meet at 7pm at El Centro Hispano in Durham, NC

Durham, NC – On January 27th, 2014, supporters and community members will gather to urge Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop the deportation of Hugo Leonel Perez Ramirez (A# 077-665-965) who is set to be deported this Tuesday night, January 28th. If deported, Hugo Leonel will be separated from his wife, who is recovering from arm surgery and has diabetes, and youngest son, Rhodinson, who is a U.S. citizen.

On December 23, 2013 in the morning, ICE raided the home of Hugo Leonel and his family at 5am while they were sleeping. Without a knock at the door, ICE entered Hugo Leonel’s home, walked up the stairs, handcuffed and dragged him out. Hugo’s older sons cried and pleaded for ICE agents to take them instead of their father, but their cries were ignored. Their father was ripped away from them and their family was torn apart that morning. Hugo Leonel is, currently, being held in Stewart Detention Center and faces imminent deportation.

Hugo Leonel came to North Carolina from Guatemala in 2006 in search of a better life. His first attempt to reunite with his family was in 2000 but he was caught at the border and deported. According to the 2011 Morton Memo, he is a low-priority case and based on Acting ICE Director John Sandweg’s recent memo, Hugo Leonel’s deportation should be stopped immediately as he is the only breadwinner for his children and wife, Edilma.

WHEN: Monday, January 27, 2014

TIME: 7pm

WHERE: El Centro Hispano, 600 E Main St, Durham, NC

WHO: NC Dream Team and El Centro Hispano

For more information, visit the online petition at: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/hugo

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The North Carolina Dream Team is the first independent undocumented youth-led organization in the Carolinas.

 

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Since late October, the N.C. DREAM Team and members of the OneStateOneRate.org have organized press events, call-in days, rallies, and a march, in efforts to urge North Carolina’s Attorney General Roy Cooper to issue a favorable opinion towards granting DACA students in-state tuition. The initial request was made  by N.C. Sate Representative Marcus Brandon late las year and we’ve been waiting to hear back since then.

Yesterday afternoon, an advisory letter was sent to the Office of Rep. Brandon in Raleigh saying NO to in-state tuition for undocumented students, NO to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Students, and NO to professional licenses.

Advisory Letter:

Brandon Rep Marcus 1-22-2014

Upon hearing news of the decision, Oliva Prezas, a DACA recipient and current student at Vance-Granville Community College, remarked: “I can’t believe it. I am devastated. I need in-state tuition! I don’t want to be stuck without an education.”

Death Dream

Democrat Attorney General Roy Cooper chose to follow the footsteps of other Democratic politicians by putting politics over policy when it comes to immigrant students. From former Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton, who in 2010 denied undocumented students the right to enroll at community colleges, to Senator Kay Hagan, who voted against the DREAM Act, Attorney General Roy Cooper has shamelessly played petty politics instead of opening up the doors to higher education.

Undocumented students are ready to work with public officials, including people like Republican Speaker Will Weatherford of the Florida House of Representatives or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who unlike Attorney General Cooper, know “the time is always right to do what is right.”

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MEDIA ADVISORY

MEDIA CONTACT

Viridiana Martinez: 919-704-0599

AG Roy Cooper Says No to In-State Tuition for DACA Students

Another Democrat Throws Immigrant Students Under the Bus

Raleigh, NC – Days after the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, Attorney General Roy Cooper has thrown immigrant students under the bus.

Yesterday, the Attorney General in an advisory letter declared: “We agree with University and Community College attorneys that North Carolina law does not provide for in-state tuition for these students.”

Upon hearing news of the decision, Oliva Prezas, a DACA recipient and current student at Vance-Granville Community College, remarked: “I can’t believe it. I am devastated. I need in-state tuition! I don’t want to be stuck without an education.”

Democrat Roy Cooper follows a line of Democratic politicians putting politics over policy when it comes to immigrant students. From former Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton who in 2010 denied undocumented students the right to enroll in community colleges to Senator Kay Hagan who voted against the DREAM Act, Attorney General Roy Cooper has shamelessly played petty politics instead of opening up the doors to higher education.

Undocumented students are ready to work with public officials, including people like Republican Speaker Will Weatherford of the Florida House of Representatives or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who know “the time is always right to do what is right.

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To: Office of the Attorney General

From: Elizabeth Simpson, Attorney & the N.C. DREAM Team

Date: January 9, 2014

Re: In-state tuition for DACA beneficiaries

I. Background on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama announced the creation of a new legal program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). Administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), DACA grants an indefinitely renewable legal permission to remain in the United States to children who were brought to the United States by their parents at a young age and have proven their integration into society by attending or graduating high school. The USCIS began formally accepting DACA applications on August 15, 2012. In order to qualify for DACA, an applicant must generally meet the following requirements:

a) Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

b) Moved to the United States before his 16th birthday, and has continuously resided in the United States since before June 15, 2007;

c) Was physically present in the United States, with no lawful immigration status, on June 15, 2012;

d) Is currently in school, or graduated from a U.S. high school; and

e) Has not been convicted of any one of a long list of disqualifying crimes, and does not represent a danger to public safety.

Although DACA is a new program, DACA is but one form of deferred action, which has a long history in U.S. immigration law. (Indeed, John Lennon was famously granted deferred action in 1975, see Lennon v. INS, 527 F.2d 187, 190-91 (2d Cir. 1975)). The executive’s power to grant deferred action stems not from any particular statutory authorization, but rather from the executive’s inherent power to exercise discretion in its immigration enforcement activities. See Reno v. Am.-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm., 525 U.S. 471, 483-84 (1999). Nonetheless, the category of deferred action is recognized and referred to in various places in the U.S. Code, including 8 U.S.C. §§ 1151, 1154, and 1227, and 49 U.S.C. § 30301.

Likewise, various sections of the Code of Federal Regulations recognize that deferred action beneficiaries are deemed lawfully present for most purposes under federal law. See, e.g., 6 C.F.R. § 37.3 (defining “approved deferred action status” as “lawful status” for the purpose of federal REAL ID drivers’ licenses); 8 C.F.R. § 1.3(a)(4)(vi) (defining any “[a]liens currently in deferred action status” as an “alien who is lawfully present in the United States” for the purposes of applying for Social Security benefits); 8 C.F.R. § 274a.12(c)(14) (listing “[a]n alien who has been granted deferred action” as one of the “[c]lasses of aliens authorized to accept employment”); 20 CFR § 416.1618(b)(11) (listing “[a]liens granted deferred action status” as “permanently residing in the United States under color of law” (emphasis added)); 45 C.F.R. § 152.2(4)(vi) (defining “[a]liens currently in deferred action status” as “lawfully present”).

DACA beneficiaries (i.e. ,individuals who apply for and are granted DACA) are given legal permission by the U.S. government to remain in the United States for a two-year period, indefinitely renewable. The DACA program contains no end date or sunset clause, nor can a DACA beneficiary age-out of coverage under the program, nor is there any limit on the number of times that a beneficiary might renew her DACA. In other words, as long as a DACA beneficiary keeps renewing her DACA every two years, she has every expectation of being able to legally remain in the United States permanently, with no legal obligation ever to return to her country of origin. DACA beneficiaries are also granted employment authorization by the U.S. government, which gives them the legal permission to work in the United States. They are also eligible to obtain a Social Security number and apply for Social Security benefits. See http:// http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals#0

II. Some Quick Facts About DACA Beneficiaries

• As of September 2013, about 19,876 students had applied for DACA from the State of North Carolina. Over 15,000 had been approved. See http:// http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/ Immigration%20Forms%20Data/All%20Form%20Types/DACA/daca-13-9- 11.pdf

• More than 2/3 of DACA applicants arrived in the United States when they were under 10 years of age. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/16/deferred- action-applicant_n_3769083.html

• About 72% of DACA applicants had resided in the United States at least 10 years when they applied http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/16/deferred-action- applicant_n_3769083.html

III. DACA Beneficiaries Can Form the Intent to Stay in North Carolina

By law, North Carolina public colleges and universities grant in-state tuition status to North Carolina domiciliaries. N.C.G.S. 116-143.1(b). “Domicile is one’s permanent, established home as distinguished from a temporary, although actual, place of residence.” Norman v. Cameron, 127 N.C.App. 44, 49 (1997); see also N.C.G.S. 116-143.1(c). A domicile is the place where one makes one’s home.

Currently, North Carolina’s colleges and universities apparently assume (without statutory basis) that neither undocumented immigrants, nor DACA beneficiaries, have the “capacity” to form the requisite intent to become domiciliaries of North Carolina—presumably because these students may be at risk of deportation in the future, which would disrupt their future residence in the State. However, this notion misapprehends the degree of certainty traditionally required for domiciliary intent. “It is not necessary that [a student] should have the intention of always remaining, but there must coexist the fact and the intention of making it his present abiding place, and there must be no intention of presently removing.” Lloyd v. Babb, 296 NC 416, 446 (1979). The idea of remaining in the location “permanently” should not be “taken literally”—because of the myriad controllable and uncontrollable intervening events that may disrupt any person’s intentions regarding the place where she makes a home—whether or not she is an immigrant. Id.

DACA students, with their indefinitely renewable lawful presence, are more than capable of forming the subjective intent to stay and make their home in North Carolina. They are quite dissimilar to holders of unexpired B (tourist), J (exhange program), or C (transit) visas, for instance—persons who have been in the United States only a short period of time, and who have explicitly promised to return to a foreign home on a fixed date. In contrast, DACA beneficiaires are—by definition—immigrants who have grown up in the United States, have attended high school in the United States, and who have expressed an explicit intention to remain in the United States indefinitely. Moreover, the federal government has granted DACA beneficiaries permission to fulfill this intention.

IV. For Purposes of In-State Tuition, DACA Beneficiaries Are Indistinguishable from TPS Beneficiaries

Furthermore, DACA beneficiaries are extraordinarily similar to beneficiaries of another federal immigration program: Temporary Protected Status (TPS)—and North Carolina already permits TPS beneficiaries to demonstrate that they are domiciliaries of the State. See Memorandum of State Residence Committeee (Dec. 11, 2012). There is no legal basis under North Carolina or federal law to distinguish between TPS beneficiaries and DACA beneficiaries.

Also administered by USCIS, TPS grants an indefinitely renewable legal permission to remain in the United States to nationals of certain countries that suffer from unsafe conditions, such as El Salvador, Honduras, and South Sudan. TPS beneficiaries are granted legal permission to stay in the United States for a period of six to eighteen months, indefinitely renewable. Like DACA, the TPS program contains no end date or sunset clause, nor can a TPS beneficiary age-out of coverage under the program, nor is there any limit on the number of times that a beneficiary might renew her TPS. TPS beneficiaries are granted employment authorization, which gives them legal permission to work in the United States. They are eligible to obtain a Social Security number and apply for Social Security benefits. See http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status-deferred-enforced-departure/temporary-protected-status.

DACA beneficiaries and TPS beneficiaries both apply for recognition on nearly identical forms (Form 821 v. Form 821d). Both are groups of individuals that the United States could lawfully choose to deport—but has explicitly chosen to give permission to stay. Therefore, both DACA beneficiaries and TPS beneficiaries can reasonably expect to lawfully remain in the United States indefinitely. There is no reasonable distinction between the two groups under North Carolina’s law of “domicile.”

V. Conclusion

The Attorney General should interpret North Carolina law consistent with traditional common law concepts of domiciliary intent, and consistent with the State’s December 2012 determination to grant in-state tuition to TPS beneficiaries who are otherwise eligible.

OlivaPrezaspic

I’m Oliva Prezas Garces. I am an undocumented student and currently a DACA holder. I was brought here to North Carolina when I was 4 years old. I graduated from high school in 2012 as an honors/AP student. My plan after high school was to attend a four year university and pursue a BS in biology. However, I was not able to follow my plan. All of the universities were rating me as an out-of-state student because of my undocumented status. Most of the scholarships that I could have qualified required US residency, and those that didn’t were very competitive.  Financial aid was also not an available option. The possibility of going to college was impossible.

As a result, I did not attend a university. Instead, I am working full time at a factory so I can attend a local community college where I am also charged at the out-of-state tuition rate, even though I graduated from high school here. Last semester, I payed $2600 for 3 classes; that is 3 times more than my high school classmates who are charged at the in-state tuition rate pay. This is unfair because I have lived here almost my entire life. I was raised here. I overcame the challenge to learn english. I gave my academics top priority. My future is here in North Carolina and this is my home.

Attending Vance Granville Community College is a major challenge to me. Everyday, I worry that I will not have enough money to pay the high cost to take classes there. What if I lose my job? Or even worse, what if I don’t graduate on time because I cannot pay my tuition? All of that time, money, and hard work will go to waste.

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However, this could all change with the support of Attorney General Roy Cooper. His signature in support of in-state tuition for students like me will change our lives forever. With the stroke of a pen, he can change the direction of my future and the future of North Carolina as there are thousands of others like me. Difference is I will no longer remain in the shadows about my struggle. For 3 months now, we have requested the support of Attorney General Cooper. What is the hold up???

When I was little, I accompanied my mother to the doctor because she broke her leg. My mother was in pain and stressed out. She was missing days of work and getting backed up on paying the bills. The doctor helped my mother and since then, I have known I want to become a doctor because I want to help others the way that doctor helped my mother. Specifically, my dream is to become an Orthopedic Physician’s Assistant. Why is Attorney General Cooper refusing to support students like me? On Saturday, January 11th I will be marching from UNC Chapel Hill to Attorney General Cooper’s office to hold a funeral for my dream. Will you march with me? You can register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1z_NIRtwtgA6E35sEN8jtxeYiMa0kgW9CLugR3EaHmU0/viewform

Thank you for your support!

juanprezaspic

Hello, my name is Juan Prezas. I am 23 years old and I have been living in North Carolina since I was 9 years old. When my family first moved to North Carolina, I thought everything would change for the better, but it was easier said than done. Learning a new language and trying to fit in was not easy, but I stepped up to the plate.

Throughout my middle school and high school years, my parents always encouraged me to be the best student I could be. I worked hard. But when I graduated from high school, my future was uncertain. My family’s financial situation was unstable, so to help contribute to the household, I opted to work and put my education second. I had to save enough money to attend my local community college. But when I tried to enroll, I was met by bad news: undocumented students were not allowed to attend community colleges or universities without a social security number.

After finding out that I could not go back to school, I worked for another year. All I could do was try to get my mind off my situation, I felt hopeless. I was stuck in a minimum wage job with no possibilities of going to college. I was banned.

It was until 2011 when I returned to my Vance Granville Community College to try to enroll in classes. That year I was allowed to register for classes, but I had to pay out-of-state tuition. The tuition for out-of-state students was and remains nearly four times the in-state tuition cost. When I heard the amount of money that I had to pay to go back to school, I was unsure if going back to school was the right thing to do. The more I though about it, I became convinced that I was unhappy with my job that only paid minimum wage. So, out-of-state tuition and all, I decided to go back to college.

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My first semester at my local community college, I paid about 1,900 dollars and my tuition steadily increased as I took more classes each semester. Graduation seems like something out of my reach if I have to continue paying out-of-state tuition. My dream of becoming an engineer has already been deferred. The damage has already been done. But that can change if Attorney General Cooper supports me. The federal government has already allowed me to legally work here and I have a social security number through the DACA program. So, why keep me from attending college and contributing to my state?

On Saturday, January 11th, 2014, I will be joining four other DACA students like me. We will march from UNC Chapel Hill to Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office. Every day he refuses to support students like me, he is killing our futures. The March of Broken Dreams will culminate with a funeral outside of his office. I hope you can be there. But if you can’t, sign and share the petition calling on Attorney General Cooper, the UNC Board of Governors, and the NC Community College System to give DACA students in-state tuition now. Here it is: http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/instate.

Thank you for your support.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Attorney General Cooper Continues to Remain Silent on In-State Tuition
Students and advocates will rally outside of his office on Wednesday, January 1st at 3pm.

Raleigh, NC — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students from across North Carolina urge Attorney General Roy Cooper to break his silence and offer a legal opinion as to whether they are eligible for in-state tuition.

When: Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 @ 3pm
Where: SIDEWALK of 114 W Edenton St. Raleigh

Earlier this month, State Representative Marcus Brandon submitted a formal request to the Attorney General requesting a formal opinion regarding the eligibility of DACA students to obtain in-state tuition.

It is the belief of the NC Dream Team and One State, One Rate that DACA youth, much like students with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), have “capacity to qualify for in-state tuition” and as such, are eligible for in-state tuition. (Please see:http://www.northcarolina.edu/legal/residence/SRC_Memo_Re_TPS__12112012.pdf)

For many students, the spring 2014 semester begins on January 6th. As undocumented youth, we can not wait any longer. Our futures, our educations are in jeopardy.

Two weeks ago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, signed landmark legislation that will allow in-state tuition for undocumented students.

Will the Attorney General follow in Governor Christie’s footsteps or not … ?

Visit the online petition at http://action.dreamactivist.org/northcarolina/instate

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Sunday, December 22nd,  2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Jose Rico

Jose.rico@thencdreamteam.org

919.802.0508

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.

When:

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

Where:

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 ncdreamteam.org and OneSateOneRate.org

FB event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/497388493709139/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming&source=1

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Donate here. Donations help us travel around the state and purchase materials for actions and events. You can also subscribe to our mailing list.

@NCDREAMTeam

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