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Arrest, Detention of DREAM Leader’s Mother Shows Why We Need Immigration Reform—And Administrative Change—Right now

January 14, 2013
Immigration reform will be a top legislative priority this year, and it won’t be some vague policy or philosophical change that we’re asking for. The coming battle to change our immigration policy is personal, and we fight it every day to protect our mothers, fathers, children, and family members. Last week was a powerful reminder of this when I received this email from my friend and colleague in the immigration movement, Erika Andiola of Arizona. Here’s what she wrote: My house just got raided by ICE and they took my mom and my brother. They had no reason to do this! I can't believe that...
Lynn Tramonte's picture

Children Take their “Wish for the Holidays” to Capitol Hill

December 19, 2012
By Emily Butera, Senior Program Officer for Migrant Rights and Justice, Women's Refugee Commission and Kate Kelly, Washington College of Law Distinguished Fellow, Women's Refugee Commission “Children need to be with their parents so they can succeed. I just want to be with my family. Please don’t take my parents away, and I promise I will be a productive member of society.” —Letter from a young boy from Florida, read at the Wish for the Holidays press conference Over the past few months, thousands of young people across the country have written letters to Congress as part of the A Wish for...
Emily Butera's picture

How the DACA Health Exclusions Harm Immigrant Women, and What You Can Do To Help

December 18, 2012
On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced a new policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that allows undocumented youth who meet specific requirements to apply for a two-year protection from deportation and for work authorization. When the policy was announced, advocates for immigrant women, including the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) , joined the immigrant rights communities to celebrate the decision, while recognizing that changes in immigration policy that promote fairness, justice, and opportunity also advance reproductive justice and...
Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas's picture

Embracing Our American Values: A MomsRising Blog Carnival on Protecting Family Unity, Strengthening Communities and Ensuring a Thriving Economy with the Contributions of Immigrants

December 13, 2012
This blog carnival was published on December 10th, 2012, and updated with additional blog posts on December 12th, 2012. As we commemorate today’s anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , MomsRising is pleased to launch a blog carnival to further the national dialogue on the urgent need for making our immigration system humane and workable. With the participation of over 40 voices, ranging from members of Congress to nationally recognized advocates, the rich diversity of our country is illustrated in this blog carnival. The below...
Kristin's picture

Passing the Dream Act

December 13, 2012
Eleven years ago, I was contacted by Ann Monaco, a teacher at the Merit School of Music in Chicago. One of her students – Tereza Lee – was a musical prodigy who had played as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. After growing up in an apartment with no heat or hot water, and learning to play the piano at her father’s church, Tereza had been accepted into several of the country’s most prestigious music schools. But Tereza had a problem. Her parents had brought her to the United States when she was two, and she was undocumented. We contacted the INS and they told us there was no way...
Senator Dick Durbin's picture

Raising Global Citizens (and Consumers) So K'Naan Doesn't Need to Censor His Better Self

December 12, 2012
I'm struck by the recent op-ed by rapper-poet-pop star K'naan in the NY Times, "Censoring Myself for Success," found here . It made me sad - but wasn't surprising - to read how music industry executives wanted him to water down his message and fascinating life story growing up in war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia, so that his now huge fans base - lots of 15 year-old American girls - can relate and thus purchase his songs. He shared his feelings about this in the eloquent Op-Ed, which also made me that much more interested in his work and his person. (He also had come to my attention for performing...
Homa Tavangar's picture

6 Concrete Steps the President Can Take to Seize the Moment on Immigration

December 12, 2012
After his reelection, speculation quickly began about what the second term of President Obama will mean for immigrant communities. While we breathed a sigh of relief following the defeat of Mitt Romney's self-deportation politics, it would be irresponsible for us to return to 2008 levels of hope for change without first taking a critical look at President Obama's record and seeing concrete indicators that demonstrate his next term will be different. Especially for parents who may be feeling the relief of their children receiving deferred action but who themselves still live with the threat of...
Pablo Alvarado's picture

Dream to Belong by Andres Useche: DREAM Act Song + CIR: Immigration Reform

December 11, 2012
This song is a free song and can be downloaded at Facebook . "Dream to Belong" is a music video in support of the DREAM Act, DACA and Comprehensive Immigration reform; Dedicated to all the Dreamers and in memory of Dreamer Joaquin Luna and our ally Shaun Chapa. It features great DREAMer orgs: UWD, ADT, ADAC, DRM Capitol Group, NDTA, NTDT, ULI, FIEL, Dreamers Adrift and allies like Sen. Dick Durbin, Congressman Gutierrez, President Obama, LULAC + (scroll down for lyrics and full performer + video credits after this): This country was built on a DREAM: A dream of freedom, of opportunity, the...
Andres Useche's picture

From Trail of Dreams to Full Equality

December 11, 2012
For four months in 2010, I woke up around 6 a.m., ate breakfast, tied my shoes, and headed out the door down a long road to liberation as I walked through the Southeast. Although many doubted our ability to complete the 1,500-mile trek from Miami to Washington, D.C. we held our heads high, despite the fact that we were undocumented students in a nation where unjust laws make our existence unauthorized. We felt, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once did that, “Today the choice is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is between nonviolence or nonexistence.” I never would have never...
Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez's picture

Underneath Immigration Debate Lies a Deeper Conversation About Our National Identity

December 11, 2012
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" Most of us know the immortal words of Emma Lazarus in the poem written on the base of the Statue of Liberty. If a tourist goes inside the center on Ellis Island where immigrants from Europe were processed for entry or refusal, there are copies of historical documents on the wall that tell a very different story. These documents echo Thomas Bailey Aldrich’s 1895 response to Lazarus’ poem: “...
Reverend Alexia Salvatierra's picture