by Justin Valas

It has been assumed by some, that the only activists speaking out for the DREAM Act are undocumented. Today in Carrboro, that assumption was shattered by our documented/citizen, student allies from UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, and NC State University. These same allies who have taken the initiative to organize “die-ins” for the DREAM and a successful march/protest against Arizona’s SB 1070, continued their strong advocacy for their undocumented peers and friends.

Our friends and allies- Michelle, Christine, Ariel, and Lupe know that as students, they have a lot of power. They showed that power by taking that message to the airwaves today on WCOM‘s “Time Out” with Bill Hendrickson.

Photo courtesy of Christine Contreras

During their interview, they called out the media for their misrepresentations about the DREAM Act. One of those tackled early in the show was the ever popular “amnesty” libel. The stringent restrictions on the DREAM Act require hard work and commitment as a way to earn their permanent residency (green card), not be gifted with citizenship. In the eyes of one of the panelists, these DREAMers  already represent some of the best parts of America and are the same as other American youth, apart from their paperwork. They also stood up against the media’s irresponsible use of the I-word.

The students went on to remind listeners of the merits of the DREAM Act. Besides being the just and right thing to do, it will be of great economic benefit to North Carolina and the United States. By making the most of the potential already here, our society will benefit both immediately and in the long run, in part through better jobs and increased wages which would greatly benefit the tax base.

These four qualified, intelligent, and hard working young women earned their spaces as students at three of North Carolina’s prestigious universities. The do not fear the addition of DREAMers to their classrooms. “They [DREAMers] are qualified- intellectually, academically and it’s just their immigration status holding them back from being able to achieve a college degree. Some, even more qualified than I am,” remarked one of the panelists.

The host, after learning more details about the actual provisions of the bill, stated “I don’t see anything that looks controversial in the bill.” According to 70% of Americans, there isn’t. Mr. Hendricks recalled how long passage of the DREAM Act has been deferred: “It seems like Senate and House politicians continue to dance around the bill as if it were a costume ball…” and that the DREAM Act deserved to be “at the top of the list” of things that our representatives should be tackling.

After giving out Senator Hagan’s phone number on the air (202-224-6342) and urging people to call, write letters, and send faxes, the interview came to an end with the host committing to fax his letter of support to both Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr.

Today, more voices joined the growing chorus of those who are documented and unafraid to stand with those who are undocumented and unafraid. Senator Hagan, will you join us?

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