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April 11, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jose Torres-Don

Mobile: 512-744-8804
Email: jose.torresdon@gmail.com

 

NC DREAM Team Supports RECLAIM NC Act:

 Coming Out of the Shadows

RALEIGH, NC—The North Carolina DREAM Team (NCDT) supports Republican led initiatives for continued dialogue on immigration matters in North Carolina.  On Wednesday, Republican Representatives Warren, Jordan, Brown and Collins filed House Bill 786-the RECLAIM NC Act that includes a process for bringing undocumented immigrants in NC out of the shadows through a driving permit. As undocumented people we are living through the consequences of the failed promises in the past decade from the national Democratic Party on immigration reform. We welcome this initiative from NC Republicans as a signal of their better understanding of the value in this opportunity to move North Carolina forward in a way that is inclusive of the Hispanic Community. We call on the leadership of this state, both Republicans and Democrats, to resist the bullying tactics of extreme anti-immigrant factions and arrive at reasonable policies in the best interest of the state’s economy and public safety.

In the summer of 2006 NC changed its laws that made it impossible for our undocumented families to obtain or renew driver’s licenses. This change was made under the leadership by then Democratic Governor, Mike Easley, who signed the Technical Corrections Act on August 27th, 2006. In the years that have followed, undocumented community members have been and continue to be deported as a result of not being able to produce a driver’s license. We intend to fully engage in conversation on initiatives from both, Republicans and Democrats, for the possibility of a driving permit. All legislators must propose and pass meaningful legislation that elevates outcomes over false rhetoric of hope. We welcome all initiatives independent of party affiliation.

To address the concerns that this proposal sounds like a round ‘em up and deport ‘em type of policy, our everyday lives remind us that this is vigorously happening already to our community under the leadership of the national Democratic Party. NCDT member, Viridiana Martinez, 26, previously detained in an immigrant detention center in Florida experienced first-hand such destructive policies of the Obama administration.  Martinez states, “there is a cruel deceptiveness in the “low priority for deportation” directive from Obama that is nothing more than a talking point… we seek an alternative to the status quo”. Currently NCDT is rallying to stop the Deportation of dedicated grandfather and Boy Scouts soccer coach, Eduardo Mireles Salazar (Alien Number: 200-717-517), who has been ordered deported from North Carolina as a result of merely driving without a license. For Coach Salazar and the many others that go unnoticed, we support Representatives Warren, Jordan, Brown and Collins in their initiative to seek better solutions.

We are aware there are problematic provisions within the proposed bill and we intend to provide our voice to that discussion so that there is understanding of the community directly affected. The NC DREAM Team looks forward to having a bigger conversation about the enlightened self-interest for Republicans in NC to align with the national leadership of the GOP that has signaled a more reasonable approach in dealing with immigration and with that fostering a better relationship with a growing Hispanic political base.

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The NC DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies who are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize their individual and collective power to activate their communities.

Ungrateful? No. I’d say I’m realistic. I have decided I will not be getting a pink license. This decision has not only surprised my friends but also my family. I understand that by not getting one not only will it affect me but also them. The truth is I have been discriminated against for the past thirteen years that I’ve lived in this country. I’m sick and tired of it. On March 25th, I plan to come out publicly about my immigration status because I refuse to be further discriminated, but more importantly because I refuse to continue to live in the shadows and afraid. I will continue to drive without a license and I will do so without fear. 

Monserrat at Securing Our Own Families Training

Monserrat at Securing Our Own Families Training

I thank my friends, family, teammates and all of those who supported us the dreamers back in January when we were fighting to get our license. I was one of those who were at the rallies, demanding equal rights. I never thought that we would be issued licences that brand us and single us out in red letters: “No Lawful Status”. Why not “Legal Presence” instead? After all, we do hold legal presence.

I’ve been in this country for thirteen years. I’ve missed my grandparents’ birthdays and their funerals. I’ve missed Mexico too. I’ve been asked before why I don’t just go back. I don’t go back because I’m not giving up. I have dreams and goals I want to achieve. Also, my family is here. But living in the US has not been easy. Fourth grade was hard - I got bullied because I speak English with an accent. In middle school, the problem was my skin color. And in high school.. well that’s when I realized what it means to be illegal. It was during junior and senior year that I understood everything perfectly. Not only was my skin color the problem, but also my immigration status. Senior year, while everyone was filling out their college applications, a classmate who was also illegal and I were the only ones not doing it. Not because we didn’t want to but because we couldn’t. I will never forget what I felt during that time.

Monserrat at the We Want Our License Rally at the NCDOT

Monserrat at the We Want Our License Rally at the NCDOT

We all have decisions to make and I know that at the end of the day a license is a license, and boy do I need it. But.. no, thank you. I have decided not to get a pink license because I refuse to allow anyone else to single me out, bully me, or make me feel less human and less of a person because of my immigration status. This will not keep me from driving, however. I will be driving without fear!

As part of the NC Dream Team, I believe in the power of organizing. I believe in the power of my community to stand up and fight back. Whether you have to get a pink license or you choose not to, I encourage you to DROP THE FEAR. What matters is that we drop the fear of ICE or the police and acknowledge the power we have as a community to fight back. On March 25th, I am driving without fear. Will you be there? Will you drop the fear?

What: Driving Without Fear / Manejando Sin Miedo Rally

Where: DMV on 2431 Spring Forest Road, North Raleigh, NC, 27615

Time: 3 pm

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!

After NC’s undocumented youth made headlines and exposed our state’s house select committee on immigration this past February, the committee reported yesterday that it is the federal government’s responsibility to “address the symptoms whose problem is really rooted in federal policy”. We couldn’t agree more, Speaker Tillis, the Obama administration needs to get it together. Quick.

Immigration Committee's meeting on February 2012

Immigration Committee’s meeting on February 2012

North Carolina’s Republican leadership has made an intelligent analysis and appears to be approaching the matter with care. However, our state’s leadership remains far from opening its arms to recognize the contributions undocumented immigrants bring to North Carolina. To be specific, we are still charged at the out-of-state tuition rate at all public colleges and universities despite paying in-state taxes, we remain prohibited from obtaining driver licenses, and business owners’ woes are increasing because they need and want the hard labor of illegal immigrants but run the risk of being criminalized for hiring us. So much for free enterprise, right, Jesse Helms?

The report released yesterday by the committee indicates undocumented youth, our families and allies have left a mark. The North Carolina Dream Team welcomes the leadership of both Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation that will open the doors for all undocumented workers, students, and families - many of whom are families of mixed status. As individuals, families, and communities-illegal and all-we are not backing down. We’ll continue fighting to be recognized as contributing residents of North Carolina.

Today, Karla came out about her immigration status at her school, the Phoenix Academy, in Chapel Hill, NC. She did it in front of her teachers and school administrators, her classmates and peers. In her orange undocumented shirt “my name is Karla,” she said, “and I am Undocumented and I am unafraid.”

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Karla Perez is a junior at the Phoenix Academy. She is an active member of the Immigrant Youth Forum.

Estephania Mijangos coming out for the first time about her immigration status at a Youth Empowerment Summit in Sanford, NC.

My name is Estephania Mijangos and I am undocumented. I came to the United States in the summer of 1999 with my family in order to join my grandmother. It’s a decision that my mother has regretted many times during these last few years and that at times I have as well. At first everything was great I started school and made many friends which I love deeply even now and who i am still relatively close to even after all these years. Whenever I introduce some of them I always say how they were my first translators when I started school and how they always supported me. I think that a big part of why I learned to love school quickly here was because of them without their support I don’t know how easy my transition would have been. From the beginning I was a favorite of my teachers and I always loved to see their faces of approval at my quick development and grasp of things. I continued to excel in school and already had my life planned out. I would graduate with high grades get a few scholarships and if that still wasn’t enough I would just go to a community college while I worked to be able to move on.

My freshman year of high school I began to see just how tough things really were for someone in my position. Laws began to pass that barred undocumented students from community college but because of talks I heard about the Dream Act I decided not to worry about it. I always believed that it would get passed by the time I graduated and that my life would continue to just advance. My sophomore year I began to realize how things might not be so easy. All of my friends got their drivers permit and some were given cars by their parents it was then that I had to begin to make excuses as to why I didn’t do what was expected of me. I didn’t get my permit, then my licence, and a car. I didn’t start to look at colleges when they did or even talk about college plans. I always avoided such conversations my supposed lack of interest in my future made me look stupid and my ego made me hate my situation even more.


Estephania speaks out at a vigil

I stopped working as hard in school as I should have something which I deeply regret now but can’t change. I can now see that even though then I didn’t acknowledge it I was depressed. I began to make arrangements to go to school in Mexico because although I had stopped working hard I still saw what I wanted and still cared enough to try to find a way to it. All my plans were quickly slashed one after the other because of family differences or because of the violence in Mexico that made it impossible for my parents to allow me to go to a certain region. I hated it and was so cynical that by then the faces of approval the teachers made when they talked to me about an essay or when discussing novels angered me. I hated those looks and wanted them to stop when before I had worked for them.

I began to see the differences in my AP and Honors teachers toward other students. They always smiled at us and encouraged us but always stated their dislike for having to teach one non-advanced class every now and then. Every time they made these remarks I began to look around and saw that my classmates just smiled and some laughed clearly proud of being the favorites and never thinking that she was talking about other students. I was ashamed when I realized that not long before I made the same stupid faces would simply agree with what she said. I was so selfish. If they disliked students simply because they were not at the advanced level how would they treat me if I ever told them I was undocumented. Would they still invest time on me? Would they care for me and smile every time that they saw me and hugged me or would they have ignored me because to them I would have been a waste of time. I distinctly remember one day while we sat in English 12 discussing a novel when the principal walked in. The teacher finished explaining her points and then greeted the principal warmly. They talked about us and she proudly said that we were all headed off to the best universities in the country and began to point out the students that had already received their acceptance letters and mentioning the scholarships they had received. She walked around the classroom and petted us on the head as she walked by. My whole day was ruined after that. I remember that there were days I would sit in my room and just look out the window for hours not thinking about anything just staring at the trees or my dog running around then I would do my homework and go to sleep. I wonder if it would have been easier I had just allowed myself to cry.

“I am Estephania Mijangos. I am undocumented, unafraid, and unashamed. I refuse to remain in the shadows as I watch the inhumane way in which we are treated when we are equal.” #Raleigh3

When graduation arrived I didn’t take part in anything that marked the end of high school. I didn’t take the senior pictures, buy my cap and gown, or even attend my own graduation ceremony. To me graduating wasn’t an achievement or something worth celebrating because after that I had no plans or roads to follow.

The Dream Act would help change that not just for me but also for many other youth that are in the same situation. I’m twenty-one now but I think back to when I was just sixteen and the way I thought and felt and it is because of everyone that has felt the same or does now that it is important to support the Dream Act. To speak loudly about it and work as hard as possible to make sure everyone knows about it. To reach the student whose world at age eighteen is falling apart and feels like they have no one that understands their pain. The student who feels useless in their own life making decisions because someone has already decided how far they are allowed to go without once getting to know them as a person. It is for all of them that it’s important to speak out and encourage them so that hopefully they can reach the point where they can say undocumented and unafraid.

At that point they can speak up for themselves and no longer watch as others speak for them just like I did before joining the NC Dream Team. When I began to be active in NC Dream Team I didn’t want to be open about it. I was still scared but with time they helped me build my courage and gave me the strength to come out. In the team I have found a family of support and care which I wish I had always had. I’m learning to care for them more than I have for people in a long time. We face many challenges and there’s going to be many people against us but it will help us be stronger for each other and make us better human beings in the end.

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Estephania Mijangos is a graduate of Lee County High in Sanford, NC. She is an active member of Brick City Dream Team.

Ven a escuchar nuestras historias en la primera demonstración pública para Salir de Las Sombras acá en Asheville! SIN DOCUMENTOS, SIN MIEDO, SIN AVERGONZARNOS!

Join us as we share our stories publicly in our very first Coming Out of the Shadows Rally here in Asheville. UNDOCUMENTED, UNAFRAID, AND UNASHAMED!

Today at 4 PM at the Vance Monument in Downtown Asheville, NC

“Me llamo Stefany Simon. Sin papeles, sin miedo y sin avergonzarme. My name is Stefany Simon. Undocumented, Unafraid, and Unashamed.”

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‎”En el 2005, despues de un viaje a Mexico, trate de regresar a la escuela. Y me pidieron mi numero de seguro social, como no tenia, no me dejaron estudiar. No termine ni la Middle School…hay que demostrarle a la gente que no tenemos miedo. Podemos ayudar a que otras personas en situaciones similares como la mia, puedan estudiar. Si tu quieres que el mundo cambie, tu tienes que cambiar. Si quieres que las leyes cambien, ponle tu granito de arena. Juntos podemos ver la diferencia.” - Abilene Gutierrez

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‎”My name is Ilse Yahely. I am undocumented, unafraid, and unashamed.
Me llamo Ilse Yahely. Soy indocumentada, no tengo miedo, y no me avergüenzo.”

Click here for more details and the facebook event. Haz click aqui para ver el evento en facebook y para mas detalles. Te esperamos!

Video by Josh Davis (undocumentary.tumblr.com)

Last week, we brought a group of high school youth to the Immigration Committee meeting at the NC Legislature when undocumented youth, including Uriel Alberto, stood up declaring themselves undocumented and unafraid. Most of them had never seen someone declare their status publicly, let alone in front of such a hostile crowd. When Uriel stood up and said, “My name is Uriel Alberto. I am undocumented and I am unafraid. I refuse to be bullied and intimidated by this committee and choose to empower my community” he truly did just that-Uriel empowered the youth that were in that meeting with him, and countless others who have seen the videos, read the blogs, articles, and everything that has happened since.

One of the youth present that day was Jaime, or “Li’l James” as we lovingly call him, a freshman at Carrboro High School. Jaime was incredibly moved by Uriel’s strength and resilience and decided to write a poem about what it meant to be undocumented in the committee meeting that day. He reflected on Uriel’s continued detention and hunger strike. He presented it at a local open mic presented by The Sacrificial Poets, an event that usually draws a big crowd.

Originally, Jaime was going to present his poem with another youth. And when she said she was unsure and nervous about it, Jaime encouraged her by telling her a story about going to an amusement park with his friends. He had never been on a roller coaster before and was terrified ahead of time, but he forced himself to do it. His mind changed once he was on the roller coaster and having the time of his life. Jaime told his friend, “I bet it’ll be like that, super scary before hand, but in the end it’ll feel awesome!” On the way to the open mic event, Jaime was nervous about not only coming out publicly for the first time, but also about reading a poem in front of a large crowd. I told him his own roller coaster story and he shot back at me, “that’s my story, you can’t use it on me!”

Jaime’s poem (as you can see above) was a big hit and he walked off that night with the biggest smile I’ve seen. As we were walking out, I asked him if it was like his roller coaster story and he said it was. Jaime feels so happy that he did it, and finished his poem by passing out flyers asking the audience to take action for Uriel. I’ll ask you to do the same, on behalf of Li’l James. Sign the petition and call ICE ( (202.732.3000).

Uriel took action in order to empower his peers, like Jaime. Now let’s empower ourselves to take action for Uriel.

Join Jaime, the hunger strikers from Winston-Salem, and our community this Friday in front of the Wake County Jail as we hold a vigil for Uriel. And for more empowering spoken word, go see Poetic Portraits of A Revolution at the Carrboro ArtsCenter this Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. A group of us went last Friday after a press conference for Uriel, and we left feeling rejuvenated and motivated to keep fighting.

Today, Estephania Mijangos, Cynthia Martinez, & Uriel Alberto rose their voices for our undocumented immigrant community. We need your help to get them out of detention and your calls are extremely important to make this happen. Like Senators Durbin and Reid often do, please ask our own representatives and senators to take action and intervene on their behalf and ask them to drop their ICE holds.

Photo courtesy of La Conexion

Cynthia Martinez: A#200-203-134, Estephania Mijangos: A#05-213-502, Uriel Alberto: A#089-828-718

Call Sen. Kay Hagan: (202) 224-6342

Call Rep. Brad Miller: (202) 225-3032

Call Rep. David Price: (202) 225-1784

Script: “Hello, My name is__________, and I am calling on behalf of_________, with an A-Number____________. I am asking that, like Senators Reid and Durbin often do, __________ (insert Senator/Representative) intervene on their behalf and ask ICE to drop the hold immediately. Thank you.”

Please check back in for further updates and ways to help us get the #Raleigh3 released immediately!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 29, 2022

Contact: Viridiana Martinez    (919)704-0599

dreamteamnc@gmail.com

ncdreamteam.org

Youth Come Out as UNDOCUMENTED and UNAFRAID in NC Legislature

 

Undocumented Youth Face Anti-Immigrant Committee in NC Legislature

As the newly developed Standing House Committee on the State’s Role on Immigration works on drafting a comprehensive anti-immigrant plan for NC, undocumented youth are determined to drop the fear and face the members of this committee by showing up at the committee’s meeting and making themselves heard.

“My name is Uriel Alberto; I am undocumented, unafraid, and unashamed!” Uriel is an undocumented youth who is determined to be present at the committee’s meeting. When asked why he simply states “I refuse to be bullied and intimidated by this committee and choose to empower my community.”

This will be the third of a total of six meetings that this committee will have. These committee meetings are open to the public and like in the past two meetings a large number of anti-immigrant supporters are expected. The environment that these undocumented youth will be in will be a hostile one.

NC DREAM Team and other undocumented youth will show presence in tomorrow’s meeting in an effort to stop the spread of Arizona SB 1070 copycats across the south and a possible similar bill draft for NC.

Where: 16 West Jones St. Raleigh, NC 27601; ROOM 643 Legislative Office Building,

When: 1:00 pm, 2-29-2012

What: Undocumented Youth Face Anti-Immigrant Committee in NC Legislature

Who: NC DREAM Team

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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

  • @joshabla xoxoxo!#FWYH 15 hours ago
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