Monday, January 18, 2010

"Dream" Students Risk Their Freedom to Rally for Immigration Reform!

Chicago Tribute reports: When she was a top student in her Chicago high school French class last year, Reyna Wences tried every excuse to avoid a planned field trip to Quebec. She knew she'd be arrested if she tried."Is it the money?" she recalled her teacher at Walter Payton Prep asking. Wences, fed up with the double life she'd been leading since her parents brought her into the country illegally nine years ago, finally said: "You know what? I'm undocumented."

In an event that might have been stymied by fear even a year ago, Wences and more than a dozen other undocumented students will risk making their status even more public Monday at a four-hour "coming out" summit in Pilsen coordinated by a new group hoping to push harder for reforms to the nation's Immigration system.

The Immigrant Youth Justice League, made up of about 15 Chicago-area students, is part of a wave of younger immigrant activists around the U.S. using more aggressive, in-your-face tactics to seek legal status as part of a volatile national debate that has stalled in Congress in recent years. They see an expected renewal of the debate this year as a last, best stand.The students whose activism was born during massive immigrant marches in Chicago and elsewhere years ago, have been behind several smaller recent battles, bouncing between Facebook campaigns and old-school organizing with equal ease.

In Chicago, they helped drive rallies staged on behalf of Rigo Padilla, 21, a Mexican-born student at the University of Illinois at Chicago who won a one-year stay of deportation last month. In Miami, another group of students staged rallies that helped win a similar deferral for two Venezuelan brothers."(These youth) are maturing politically, they are becoming more sophisticated in their strategies and are also recognizing that something more drastic needs to be done to achieve their legal status," said Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, a sociology professor at UIC who has been tracking youth activism in the Immigration movement.

A spokeswoman in Chicago for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement indicated Sunday that, despite their public declarations, the students would not necessarily be a high-priority for arrest. The Immigrant Youth Justice League was inspired by ongoing efforts to pass the so-called Dream Act, legislation that would grant conditional legal status to students who arrived as children. But the group, mostly Mexican-born, derives mainly from the Padilla campaign."There was this feeling that, if we can win that, there's so much more we could do as a group," said Tania Unzueta, 26, who, along with Padilla, is a founding member of the group.Uriel Sanchez, 18, had been promised financial aid for tuition, but the money vanished when an administrator asked him to provide a Social Security number."When we fail to speak up, when we fail to criticize ... " he said. "It is a far greater blow to the freedom, the decency and to the justice which truly represents this nation we call home."


MMPete said...

These students know already that they aren't risking their freedom. It has already been proven with each and every illegal alien march in this country. ICE won't touch them just as all the other times before that they had the opportunity.

kyledeb said...

Thanks for writing on this, Dee, and supporting migrant youth.

Vicente Duque said...

Kicking Out Talent - Childhood and Adolescence are INPUTS and MOTORS for the Economy - Power of the Unexpected for the Future - The Athenian Sages and the Arcadian Fools

Childhood and Adolescence : They are the Future of the Economy : Invention, Private Initiative, Entrepreneurship, the Audacity of Investment ( and the "Audacity of Hope" ), all these beautiful qualities that guarantee a wonderful future are prepared in schools, colleges, universities.

Human beings are endowed with talents, but those talents need a favorable environment to develop, that is why schools exist, and they have a Great Economic Importance. The Failure of Education is the Failure of the Future of a Nation.

To prepare people to kick them out is economically absurd, it is an investment that is going to be given to another country.

And it is morally repulsive, it has happened many times, in our own days and during the Great Depression that people that didn't know the Spanish Language, and didn't know anything about Mexico were expulsed to that country by perfect ignorants and fools ( also Racist Fools ! )

Talent is a Genetic Lottery, each time that a child is conceived some genetic dice are thrown, and a genetic roulette operates. If you have a big genetic pool the opportunities for good and bad increase.

It has been observed that the solution for many health problems, like resistance to all diseases, autoimmune, chronic, viral, bacterial or genetic, lies in the Genes of the African Population because of the Great Treasure of Genetic Variation ( and "older" pool of genes has produced more variation, drift, etc .... , Africans have the power of Variation and the Potential of the Unexpected ).

Expulsing young people because of Ethnics or Racial Reasons is the topmost in Economic Madness, because you are reducing the potential for Talent, for Change, for the Unexpected.

Do you want me to say it crudely ???
Yes, it is very stupid to try to reduce variation in Youth, specially when you have invested a lot of Money in their education. The sole act of existence of Youngsters is a Treasure and a Potential for Dynamic Events.

And a Great Poet said "Youth, Divine Treasure !".

Old People are also a Great Treasure, but a different Asset. They represent a Capital, but they are not the power of the Unexpected.

The Athenians and the Arcadians :

The Athenians from Athens were the most creative and intellectual people in Ancient Greece, they lived close to the Sea and had a Thalassocracy ( Rule of the Sea, Empire of the Sea ), they were merchants and businessmen and had lots of contacts with the Other and the Otherness.

The Books of the Athenians are filled with references to far away lands and other nations.

The Arcadians were Peloponesians, like the Spartans. Arcadia was remote, mountainous, a rustic, secluded area, and its inhabitants were proverbial as primitive herdsmen leading simple pastoral unsophisticated yet happy lives, to the point that Arcadia may refer to some in modern times as an imaginary idyllic paradise.

The Athenians considered the Arcadians and other Peloponesians, including the Spartans as primitive fools, because of the lack of contact with other nations and other people.

A nation expulsing the other and the otherness, shows a will to become a modern Arcadia.

Vicente Duque

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