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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!

I got this in my inbox yesterday:
ICE detainee passes away at Conroe Regional Medical Center in Houston
HOUSTON — A Honduran national, who has been in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since Nov. 5, 2012, passed away Friday at Conroe Regional Medical Center (CRMC) due to lymphoma and related complications.
Pablo Ortiz-Matamoros, 25, was transferred to ICE custody from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Nov. 5.  On Jan. 29, Ortiz-Matamoros was admitted to CRMC for jaundice, lethargy and weight loss. He passed away Feb. 8 at about 1p.m. (CST).
Ortiz-Matamoros’ next of kin was by his side at the time of his passing.
Consistent with ICE protocol, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have also been informed, along with consular officials from Honduras.
Ortiz-Matamoros is the second detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2013.
# ICE #
As I read and re-read, I don’t even know what to feel anymore…sad, angry, happy that Pablo, if even in death, finally gets relief from the hell he must have been in while in immigration custody. We often hear of detained people in desperate need of medical attention and just like in Pablo’s case, “consistent with ICE protocol”, too little, too late is done. A 25 year old is gone just like that. He was my age. Most likely he had a huge responsibility over his head to ensure survival for his family. Where are they left now? Who has a real answer for them when all that can be talked about, by advocates and the Obama administration, are talking points for a superficial immigration reform. Keep your script people.    
My thoughts go out to Pablo Ortiz-Matamoros’ family and loved ones. I can’t even begin to imagine the rage they must feel. 
In memory of Pablo, I’m signing these petitions and making the following calls. Hope you can join me.
Adrian is peeing blood and is in need of urgent surgery:
Flavio Ramos Cruz needs surgery:
Isaias Valles Castrejon’s family needs him.
And more! 
His children with medical needs need him now more than ever. 
Miguel Caldo:
No one deserves the pain and trauma of deportation.

Holding our drivers licenses hostage may be a game of politics for Anthony Tata, the Department of Transportation Secretary. But for Mayra Aguilar, a local DACA eligible youth and young mother from Garner, it is about survival and being able to care for her family and drive without fear. Mayra has requested a meeting with NCDOT Secretary Tata to seek accountability. This meeting is scheduled for today at 4 pm.

We need our community to stand behind Mayra and all undocumented youth across North Carolina. It’s time to get our licenses back!


Mayra and her daughter


DOT Secretary Tony Tata

Call NC Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata RIGHT NOW: 919-707-2800, 919-707-2834

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to support driver licenses for DACA immigrant youth like Mayra Aguilar who is meeting with Secretary Tata today. Mayra is a young mother and needs to be able to drive without fear. She needs a drivers license and Secretary Tata has a responsibility to keep all of North Carolina safe with licensed and insured drivers. We must put safety over hate politics.”

Earlier last month, NC Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Tata, decided to stop issuing driver’s licenses to DACA youth and has since kept our licenses hostage. For him, it is a game to flex his power and in that game all North Carolinians lose.


Even after a favorable statement from our Attorney General, Roy Cooper, the NCDOT is still refusing to change this discriminatory policy. Tata is knowingly and intentionally attacking us as immigrant youth and in the process is violating federal directive and abusing his power to bully our communities.

Anthony Tata has the power to re-issue drivers licenses. We demand he do so immediately. We ask you to demand with us!

1) Sign & Share the petition:

2) Call NC Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata RIGHT NOW: 919-707-2800

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to support driver licenses for DACA
immigrant youth like Mayra Aguilar who is meeting with Secretary Tata
today. Mayra is a young mother and needs to be able to drive without
fear. She needs a drivers license and Secretary Tata has a
responsibility to keep all of North Carolina safe with licensed and
insured drivers. We must put safety over hate politics.”

3) Call Eric Boyette (NC DMV Commissioner) - (919) 861-3015

Sample script: “Hi, I am calling to ask that the NC DMV adhere to the
statement made by Attorney General Cooper saying DACA holders have a
right to obtain driver licenses by NC state law. I ask that this
official statement be reflected in the DMV’s requirements for driver
licenses immediately. Thank you!”


Meet 9 year old Nayeli (R) and 7 year old Blanca (L). They’re fighting for their family to stay together this holiday season. Their mother, Maria Juana, is set to be deported to Mexico on December 27th. This could be their last Christmas together. All they want for Christmas is for their family to stay together. Will you help them?

SIGN the petition!

Senator Hagan, stop our mom's deportation!

Senator Hagan, stop our mom’s deportation!

 Their mother, Maria Juana, came to the US in 2000. She was caught at the border when she initially tried to cross and was deported. She crossed again days later and has lived in NC ever since. Because of her initial contact with immigration, ICE is refusing to stop her deportation.

On December 22, 2010, Maria Juana was stopped by Alamance County law enforcement and charged and arrested for not having a driver’s license. This is also the county that is under investigation by the Department of Justice for the racial profiling of Latinos.

Maria Juana’s request for prosecutorial discretion has been denied by ICE and they insist on breaking up this family just because of the previous deportation .

The reality is that many in our undocumented community find themselves in this same situation. In our determination to get to the US, if we don’t make it across the border on our first attempt, we will try again and again and again. It’s not about comitting a crime over and over and becoming a repeat offender. It’s about literal survival. There is no apologizing for that. As a single mother of three US Citizen children, the only bread winner in the household and no criminal record, Maria Juana needs to stay in this country.

Blanca and Nayeli are standing up for their mother and they have a Christmas wish that Senator Hagan can make come true. Senator Hagan has the power to put an end to their nightmare and stop their mother’s deportation.

Maria Juana hugs her young family that includes her three children.

Maria Juana hugs her young family that includes her three children.

In 2010 Senator Hagan voted NO on the DREAM Act stating that she was in support of a more  comprehensive approach to immigration reform. Now is the time for the Senator to leave the talking points behind and actually support this family. With the recently released numbers of nearly 205 thousand deportations of parents of US Citizens, Senator Hagan must be accountable to Nayeli and Blanca who are only asking for help so that their mom can stay home with them. Senator Hagan needs to immediately call for an end to Maria Juana’s deportation and not let her fall through the cracks of this broken immigration system.

Please join Nayeli and Blanca in making 100 calls to Senator Hagan and ICE so that they end their mom’s deportation. Sign the petition and call Senator Hagan and ICE now. We will stand with Blanca and Nayeli, will you?

Sign the petition at!

Let us know in the comments how the calls turn out.

Senator Hagan:

Washington DC: 202-224-6342

Greensboro: 336-333-5311

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that Senator Hagan support Maria Juana Perez Santiago (A 200-576-618) and stop her deportation set for December 27, 2012. Maria Juana is the sole bread winner for her family that includes three US Citizen children. In 2010, Senator Hagan killed the DREAM Act because she wanted Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We are holding the Senator accountable to that. The Senator has a responsibility to keep this family together. Maria Juana is a low-priority case and her deportation should be stopped immediately.
Call ICE - John Morton @ 202-732-3000 or 202-732-3100

Sample Script: “Hi, I’m calling to ask that ICE stop Maria Juana Perez Santiago’s (A 200-576-618) deportation. She is the mother of three US citizen children and a previous deportation order should not split this family apart. She is a low priority for deportation. Her children need her to stay here to be able to provide for them. Deporting Maria Juana threatens the future of her US born children.


Thanks for your support!

On Friday we joined Cristina Tzitzios and her son, Sebastian, for a vigil in Charlotte. They are leading a fight against this immigration system intent on deporting Miguel Tzitzios-their father/grandpa. Cristina and Sebastian are asking for your support to get Miguel released from North Georgia Detention Center.

John Morton (ICE), Senator Hagan and Senator Burr have the power to release Miguel NOW. Help Cristina and Sebastian win their family back:  Sign the petition and make your calls.

Vigil in Charlotte: Cristina asks her community to join her in getting her father released

On October 21, Miguel was on his way to work when he was pulled over by a police officer because his license plate was expired. The police officer arrested Miguel and charged him with driving without a license and for possession of fraudulent identification, even though he presented a valid passport. Despite being low priority, Miguel was transferred to North Georgia Detention where he has been ever since.

Miguel’s daughters and one year old grandson depend on him financially and emotionally. President Obama has said people like Miguel shouldn’t be deported. Why has Miguel not been released?

We will hold this administration accountable because behind each deportation are real people like Cristina and Sebastian who only want their family to stay together.

Sample Scripts:

Call ICE – John Morton @ 202-732-3000

“Hi, I am calling to urge ICE to release Miguel Tzitzios Gonzalez (A# 205-210-562) from North Georgia Detention. Miguel has been living in the U.S. for 13 years and has two daughters and a grandson that depend on him emotionally and financially. According to the Morton Memo, Miguel is a low-priority case and should be released immediately.”

Senator Hagan:

Washington DC: 202-224-6342
Greensboro: 336-333-5311

Senator Burr:

Washington DC: 202-224-3154
Winston-Salem: 1-800-685-8916

“I am calling to ask the Senator take a position on the case of Miguel Tzitzios Gonzalez (A# 205-210-562) from North Georgia Detention Center. Miguel has been living in the U.S. for 13 years and has two daughters and a US citizen grandson that depend on him emotionally and financially. According to the Morton Memo, Miguel is a low-priority case and should be released immediately. Will the Senator take a position on this case and issue a letter of support?”

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  • "@RobertMillaEsq: @NCDREAMTeam congratulations! safely!" Gracias!#FWYH 9 hours ago
  • MT @JoelBrownWTVD: Out of the shadows: Maria Ruiz, one of first in Raleigh to receive NC driver's license.... 9 hours ago

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