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Pedro Guzman, a loving husband and father, has been released from Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. He is now home with his family. His crime? Immigration Court sent his information to the wrong address.

We’re happy to hear that Pedro is now free. You can read more about Pedro’s case at the links above and here, at the Larsens in Lagrange blog.

Secure Communities, also known as S-Comm or SeCom has been promoted by the Department of Homeland Security as a tool by which local law enforcement can assist ICE in prioritizing who it deports. However, even DHS figures show that the program has been used for anything but. It has been abused-especially in the Southeast-as a dragnet used against the immigrant community.

Illinois has stood up and said enough is enough and pulled out of the program. The state is also moving forward with an Illinois DREAM Act, which is looking likely to pass. A private fund would provide financial aid to undocumented college students.

Check out the Immigrant Youth Justice League for more details.

Maryland will now offer in-state tuition to undocumented students who meet certain requirements.

If a student has graduated from a Maryland high school, takes at least 60 hours of classes and can provide three years of income tax returns for themselves and their parents, they will be able to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in the state.

The Oregon State Senate has passed a bill to extend in-state tuition rates to all residents regardless of their immigration status. The vote now goes to the House.

As quoted by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Frank Morse (R- Albany), who co-sponsored the bill, said: “Does Oregon control immigration policy? Do we get to decide who comes and goes within this state? And if we don’t make immigration decisions - what then do we do with these children?”


Image via Technorati

Last Friday, a bill that would allow in-state tuition for undocumented students in Colorado has been approved by the state Senate Education Committee.

Senate Bill 126 would allow in-state tuition, but not government financial aid. One attorney based in Denver (CO), Tim Paynter, says that this bill should be used as an opportunity to stop cyclical poverty for immigrant youth.

“It is a chance to break the chain of poverty handed down from one generation to the next. Many youths who go to college work hard to pass the opportunity along to their own children, hence improving society. Sadly, for undocumented youth, such dreams remain the luxury for others.”

(Follow his blog here to find out more of what you can do.)

While States like Colorado and Virginia are moving forward, North Carolina and Georgia are falling behind. If you haven’t taken action against the college ban in North Carolina (HB 11), call House Speaker Thom Tillis at 919-733-3451 (or toll free at 800-567-2285).

Sign the petition against HB11 in North Carolina.

Also sign the petition against Georgia’s HB 59.

This is great news.

HB1465, which would have required public colleges and universities in Virginia to write policies denying enrollment to undocumented immigrants, was decisively shot down today in the state Senate.

Isabel Castillo, who graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Mennonite University in 2009, gave testimony on the legislation before the Senate Courts and Justice Subcommittee (Video via VA Interfaith Center):

The Committee also shot down House Bill 2332, which would have required local law officials to enforce federal immigration law. No small victory there, either.

Castillo is a co-founder of DREAMActivist Virginia, which along with us is part of the new National Immigrant Youth Alliance. Castillo was also one of several DREAMers arrested during a sit-in in Washington D.C. last year. If you’re on Facebook, take a minute to congratulate Virginia on their victory.

Don’t forget that we’ve got to win against HB11, a bill here in North Carolina that would do the same thing as HB1465. Sign the petition To help bring the victories southward.

Georgia also needs your help. Sign this petition to fight against HB59.

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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 16 hours ago
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