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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inside the center on Ellis Island where immigrants from Europe were processed for entry or refusal, there are copies of historical documents on the wall that tell a very different story.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

Immigration Reform Good For Our Economy, Our Souls

December 11, 2012
As President Obama and Congress members begin to break down immigration, we need to imagine a world where migration and immigration are embraced. Here is a video, in which I break down immigration reform and why we need it--for our economy but also for our souls and our future. Thanks for watching!
Pramila Jayapal's picture

Why the Maryland DREAM Act is a Boost to Local Economy, Country

December 11, 2012
The 2012 elections were historic for many reasons. One of the most significant, yet unheralded, achievements was the passage on the ballot of the Maryland Dream Act, which enables children to qualify for in-state college tuition regardless of their immigration status. The Maryland Dream Act will help our local economy build stronger communities, keep talented individuals in the state to strengthen our economy, and give all hard-working students an opportunity to achieve the American Dream. The Act gives Maryland children who are undocumented and were brought to this country through no fault...
Congresswoman Donna Edwards's picture

My Story- Escaping Genocide Was the First Step

December 11, 2012
My name is Lundy Khoy and I came with my parents, Sinath Khoy and Rasy Monh, to the United States on November 12, 1981. I was one year old. My entire family migrated to the United States after escaping the awful Pol Pot genocide in which over 2 million Cambodians were murdered. They found shelter at a refugee camp in Thailand where my mother gave birth to me on November 10, 1980. I grew up in California and went to elementary, middle, and high school there. In the middle of high school my family relocated to Virginia in order to be closer to the rest of our relatives. None of these facts may...
Lundy Khoy's picture

Children Have Suffered the Consequences of Our Immigration Policies

December 10, 2012
Tearing families apart isn't in anyone's interest. We all know that. But according to a recent report by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), more than 46,000 parents of U.S. citizen children were removed from the U.S. between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011. During the same period, ICE sought orders of deportation, exclusion, or removal in the cases of an additional 39,918 parents of U.S. citizen children. These deportations shatter families and endanger the children left behind. Our immigration laws should not conflict with our moral obligation to protect the rights of children. Who are...
Congressman Raul Grijalva's picture

On Human Rights Day, Sharing the Wisdom of Frederick Douglass

December 10, 2012
In an 1869 speech in Boston, abolitionist Frederick Douglass challenged most social observers and politicians by advocating the acceptance of Chinese and Japanese immigrants into the United States. He said: There are such things in the world as human rights. They rest upon no conventional foundation, but are external, universal, and indestructible. Among these, is the right of locomotion; the right of migration; the right which belongs to no particular race, but belongs alike to all and to all alike. It is the right you assert by staying here, and your fathers asserted by coming here. It is...
Benjamin Jealous's picture

Why We All Have a Stake in Comprehensive Immigration Reform

December 10, 2012
I'm reading Junot Diaz's new book and my head is swimming with images of Ana Iris, a Dominican mother of three who hasn't seen her children in seven years. In order to feed them, she's come to New York and works two jobs, one laundering bloody hospital sheets and the other filleting fish. Even though the apartment she shares with several others is freezing in the winter, she sleeps with mosquito netting over her bed, which she folds neatly every morning. How does she survive? "You must not think on these things," she tells her best friend. "Keep them out of your mind. You do not want to go...
Ellen Bravo's picture

Keep Families Together - Fix Our Immigration System Now

December 10, 2012
Maria Bolaños, a Salvadoran woman in Hyattsville, Maryland, called the police out of fear that her partner was going to hurt her. But instead of being protected by the police, she got turned over to immigration. She said, “I feel like I made a mistake calling the police when I was afraid, and worry what will happen to all the women out there when they need help. In my community, people simply do not trust the police, especially after what happened to me. I fear for anyone facing domestic violence, or anyone that witnesses a crime, that they won't call the police for fear of deportation.” Our...
Linda Meric's picture

United to Keep Our Families Together

December 10, 2012
Since the election the headlines have been all about immigration reform and the urgency for Congress to finally get serious about it. As someone who works on immigration policy, I’ve been excited about the momentum that is building. But more importantly, as an advocate for children and as a daughter of immigrants, I’ve been mostly humbled by the way whole communities are beginning to unite around one shared goal: keeping our families together. As Americans, we strongly believe that families belong together. The family unit is at the heart of who we are as a country, and most of us would agree...
Wendy Cervantes's picture