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image by Santiago G.
Following the undocuppation of OFA offices around the country, President Obama made an announcement saying that his administration will stop deporting undocumented youth who are between the ages of 16 and 30 and meet certain requirements. This is not the executive order we are asking for. Many are celebrating this announcement, calling it a temporary Dream Act. For others of us DREAMers, we’re calling it as we see it. It is only an announcement, one very similar to the past prosecutorial discretion announcement made last August and the Morton memo before that. These announcements have failed and less than 1% of those who can benefit from them have. We are not only skeptical, but plan to keep the president accountable. Actions speak louder than words.
image by our umbrella organization, the National Immigrant Youth Alliance
Check out what our team members think about yesterday’s announcement!
We’re not going to believe the president until we see it happen.. We’ve been down this road before. -Jose Rico (taken from the N&O)
Although it is good news, when read in its entirety, you find that it is full of obstacles which leads me to fear that very few Dream Act – eligible youth would benefit from it. This is not the immediate relief that DREAMers currently in deportation proceedings need in order to stay in the only home that they know. – Alicia Torres
While I see progress, this announcement still leaves much doubt. This is only an extension of prosecutorial discretion which has proven to be a failure for our undocumented community. It only gives space to local ICE officials to continue on their rogue behavior. I, as a documented ally, believe we should be critical and continue to hold the president accountable. – Elisa Benitez
image by V. Martinez
NC DREAM Team Issues Strong Rebuke of Dale Folwell’s Candidacy for Lt. Governor
Candidate is anti-woman, anti-family, and anti-immigrant
RALEIGH—The NC DREAM Team is strongly opposed to Rep. Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth) seeking statewide office. Folwell is a man with hate in his heart who believes the state’s best days are in the past.
“This is a man who has dedicated his life to harassing women, LGBTQ people, and immigrants,” said Viridiana Martinez, a member of the NC DREAM Team. “We will not be silent while Folwell continues his hateful and bigoted crusade.”
Folwell is proud of his record of rolling back the individual liberties of people who aren’t like him. With the Women’s Right to Know law, Folwell forces upon women his opinion of what they should do with their bodies when they seek an abortion. With the anti-family amendment, Folwell will attempt to ensure that only his antiquated definition of a family is recognized by the state. With the anti-immigrant bills he has supported, Folwell intends to criminalize people for feeding their families and going to school.
Folwell is not a man who can lead our state into the future; he is a man who wants to confine it to the past. As the immigrant youth of North Carolina, we stand against his candidacy. We urge all people of conscience in the state–and those who believe in the state’s future–to do the same.
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 will escalate in our efforts to achieve a just reform that is acceptable to–and guided by–the voices of those directly affected by our broken immigration system.
Catherine Orr, a North Carolina-based documentarian, will be screening her film “Dreams Delayed” tonight, May 4 in Carroll Hall (room 305) at UNC Chapel Hill. The film will discuss the lives of undocumented immigrants, educators and those affected by both immigration policy and a lack of access to education. Our own Jose Rico will be featured in the film and joining the conversation afterward.
Go here for the Facebook event.
Jose Rico will be be speaking at a screening of Papers: The Movie tonight at El Centro (104 Highway 54 North Carrboro, NC 27510) as part of the Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace. Join the Facebook event for all of the Triangle events here.
Schedule for today:
2:30 – 2:00 Lunch at St. Michael’s Catholic Church (810 High House Rd., Cary, NC 27513.)
2:00-2:45 Drive to Chapel Hill
3:00 Press Conference in front of the South Building on UNC CH campus.
3:00 – 4:50 Walk from South Building to El Centro (104 Hwy 54 N Carrboro, NC 27510) (2.8 mi)
5:45-8:30 Welcome and Presentation by El Centro, other orgs, and local politicians, Showing of “Papers: The Movie,” Post-showing Panel Discussion with undocumented youth and allies
By José Torres-Don
Last Thursday’s vigil was an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our current situation in North Carolina as an immigrant community. The vigil was held at the same place where just a year before three young women declared a hunger strike challenging all of us to believe and push for our dreams. At the time, they demanded for Senator Hagan to hear their frustration. Needless to say, the Senator did not measure up to the trust and confidence placed in her. However, this time around we came together in support of the seven undocumented youth, two from the NC DREAM Team, who last Tuesday intentionally risked deportation in Atlanta, Georgia through a civil disobedience action. The seven youth demanded that Georgia State University President refuse the ban on undocumented students attending the university. This was the first direct action by undocumented youth since the DREAM Act failed to pass in the Senate. It was an important one–since then our immigrant communities have been under attack at the local level, where we feel it the most, and the only support we hear from a supposedly immigrant-friendly administration is an irresponsible and faint commitment to not deport us.
More than anything, the vigil was a celebration of the undocumented youth empowerment felt throughout the state. We all felt the risk of the action taken, but as we stood there united, we understood clearly the greater risk in maintaining the status quo. We were all reminded that in North Carolina, our urgency is such that our own friends are willing to risk it all in order to give us all our voice back and to not be afraid to stand up and speak our own truth. We reflected on their strength to look fear in the eye and push and lead us to understand our own power. We felt it. We understood our cause at its very core. We welcomed our responsibility to keep pushing ahead for undocumented youth and our parents so that we heal through self-empowerment. This was especially felt when Jose Rico’s family spoke up about their support for him and how proud they were about his leadership and courage.
That night, we renewed our commitment to this fight that at times seems endless but worth it because our dignity and humanity are priorities. To say the least, the courage of the seven undocumented youth is inspiring and the empowerment liberating. Through them we were are all able to scream and now shoulder to shoulder we free ourselves from whatever fear we may have because nothing is more contagious than courage.
Take a minute to get to know the other folks who were arrested in Georgia. They come from different parts of the country, but all stood up against the same injustice together.
[NOTE: The Georgia 7 have been released and we are no longer collecting bail money. Thank you for those who have shown your support.]
Please join us in Raleigh on Thursday, April 7, for a Community Vigil for Immigrant Rights at 6:30 p.m.
We’ll be convening at the corner of Wilmington and Lane Streets downtown, where three brave undocumented young women from our team participated in a 13-day hunger strike last June. One of them, Viridiana Martinez, was arrested along with the Georgia 7 yesterday. Why?
“Rallying and protesting are no longer enough. Remaining in the shadows is no longer acceptable.”
Let’s not allow any more politicians like Senator Kay Hagan, who killed the DREAM Act in December, to continue dictating the reality facing the undocumented community. Everyday we see another family torn apart by deportation for nothing more than going to work or school. Everyday we see another dream deferred because of unjust educational opportunities. Everyday we see another worker denied a fair wage because of their legal status. We can no longer keep quiet. We’ve drawn a line. Whose side will you fall on? Those that are filled with hate and prejudice? Or those that are willing to stand up for justice and fight for the rights of our undocumented communities?
Please join us tomorrow, and tell a friend. El pueblo unido jamás será vencido.
Here is a video of Jose Rico, a member of NC DREAM Team, coming out of the shadows. Don’t forget to come to our rally tomorrow at Greensboro City Hall at 4pm.
If you are interested in coming from different parts of the state, please call the following numbers:
Western NC – Loida (828) 280-9325
Charlotte area – Domenic (704) 281-9911
Triad – Fredd (336) 989-2797; Emily (336) 769-6428; Victoria (919) 260-1232
Triangle – Jose Rico (919) 802-0508
Eastern NC – Viridiana (919) 704-0599
Or e-mail us at email@example.com.