Imagine yourself 10 years ago. How old were you? I’m sure you have witnessed a tremendous amount of change in your looks, intelligence, height, maturity, and beliefs. Take for example, your political beliefs. Whatever your political stance may be (or lack thereof), we can both agree that 10 years is a long time. I mean, it’s 5 MILLION MINUTES!
But in retrospect, 10 years also flew by. Some days were filled with grandiose milestones, like your 21st birthday; other days filled with solemn moments, like an unexpected passing of a friend. For some, life is an adventure with tiny bumps. For others, life is a constant roller coaster ride.
It has been 4 years since I started advocating for the Dream Act in 2008. I could only imagine the pain inflicted on the hearts of those who have waited since the introduction of the Dream Act in 2001. I want to share with you a film created by a fellow undocumented friend that highlights his 10-year experience as an undocumented youth.
This Wednesday, August 1, marked the 10th anniversary of the Dream Act.
People like Julio continue to inspire me to share my story and put a human face on this issue. He embodies perseverance, courage, and honesty. Julio is the quintessential American. Just as Jose Antonio Vargas reminded many undocumented students “We’re Americans; we just don’t have the right papers” we cannot be discouraged by a minority of Senators who blocked the Dream Act last December.
10 years passed, and little has changed in Congress. The Dream Act still stands as a bill, yet to become law. However, we have seen dramatic change within our community. Who could have imagined hundreds of undocumented youths openly declare their statuses in public 10 years ago? Who could have imagined undocumented youths testifying in Congress? Who could have imagined undocumented youths conducting acts of civil disobedience? Much has changed in the public’s eyes. Wait, aren’t our Representatives in Congress supposed to represent the public?
While the Dream Act stalls in Congress, there is something you can do to lift the voices and dreams of the undocumented youth. Please take 1 minute to sign this online petition that I created with some friends. President Obama has the power to bypass Congress and halt the deportation of all Dream Act eligible students by issuing an executive order.