Saturday, April 23, 2011

Guest Voz -- Prerna Lal: Dream Activist


I am sharing with you the story of Prerna Lal. Her story is similar to so many Dream Students. When she was a small child, she was brought into our country legally, by her parents, who were here legally. Due to circumstances beyond her control, she is now in illegal status, struggling to stay here, in the only country she has ever known. ALL of her family is here legally, including her siblings. Here entire family is American. Now, due to questionable legal interpretation issues, she may be deported to a land she has never known.

Prerna is brave, brilliant, patriotic, and strongly determined to stay here. She is fighting deportation with every ounce of strength in her body. She is head-strong and unapologetic. I am proud of Prerna! I hope she wins this fight and helps convince our President why it is so important that he act and act now to support these intelligent and brave "Dreamers."
Mr. President: Help Prerna and others like her. America needs these brilliant students for today and future tomorrows of this great Nation!

I encourage ALL Readers to SIGN THIS PETITION and take action to keep Prerna here!
Guest Voz -- Prerna Lal: Dream Activist
My name is Prerna Lal and I am facing the trial of my life as I sit for my exams at The George Washington University Law School. You may know me as one of the founders of
DreamActivist or from the Immigrant Rights blog here where I have penned hundreds of articles over the past two years to help stop the deportations of several members of our community. I serve as a board member for Immigration Equality and I was the recipient of a Changemaker Award at the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) summit this year.

I just paid $800 to the State of California in business taxes. And I’m expected to appear in an Immigration Court in San Francisco for this trial. That is some heavy taxation without representation. To make matters more complicated, my entire family is American and they have done nothing to deserve this treatment.
My only grandparent alive is a U.S. citizen. She voted for President Obama in the last election and is now wondering why he is trying to deport her granddaughter. My legal permanent resident parents brought me here when I was a minor. Even my older sibling is a U.S. citizen. We grew up in this country. My entire family lives here. I am an American and this is my home. I urge you to
take action to keep me here.

I would qualify for a green card immediately if USCIS did not have a questionable (and much litigated) re-interpretation of the
Child Status Protection Act, a legislation that was passed by Congress to prevent children of U.S. citizens and legal residents from aging-out of family, employer and diversity visa petitions. A nation-wide class action lawsuit is pending on this matter in the Ninth Circuit, but instead of holding petitions in abeyance till the lawsuit is resolved, USCIS cannot wait to deport qualifying young people away from their homes.

I would have also benefited from the passage of the federal DREAM Act, a piece of legislation that would put certain immigrant youth on a pathway to citizenship. Just this week, 22 Senators called on President Obama to use his authority to stop deporting
DREAM Act-eligible youth like myself. The letter read, "We would support a grant of deferred action to all young people who meet the rigorous requirements necessary to be eligible for cancellation of removal or a stay of removal under the DREAM Act, as requested on a bipartisan basis by Senators Durbin and Lugar last April."

Even if you do not support immigrant rights, it makes no sense for the government to spend thousands of dollars and several years in litigation in an effort to remove me from my home. In response, my colleagues at have created a petition to top immigration officials to stop this wasteful and ridiculous prosecution.
You can read more and sign the petition here.

My queer and law school friends are also outraged and are throwing together a fundraiser in support of me (and the DREAM Act) on May 6 in Washington D.C. Check
here for more details.

Your support is invaluable to me. Please sign, facebook, tweet and reblog the petition so that I can keep my family together and continue making worthwhile contributions to this country.

Prerna Lal is co-founder and Online Coordinator of DreamActivist and a board member of Immigration Equality. She is currently attending George Washington University Law School


DreamACTivist said...

All of my family is here legally.

Ted Seeber said...

Ok, so all of your family are here legally. Why didn't they start a petition to become a citizen 18 years ago for you? What happened that caused you to fall through the cracks?

Dee said...

My father was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. A very good Catholic. He opened his heart and all of his resources to help his fellow man. Glad to know you are a KofC member.

In regards to your question -- Please look at all of the work that Prerna has done in order to petition herself and others like her to legal status. There is a significant amount of info on the web about Prerna. She is a hero!

Perhaps, if she has time, she will provide an answer to your questions personally, but if not, there is significant data out there all of the research and legal tactics she and others have taken in order for her to gain legal status. She has been a victim of the horrendous immigration backlog in the courts, which, as anyone who has studied the immigration issues know, is significant. (and very sad.)

Hope this helps.


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