NCLR SUPPORTS NATIONAL BACK TO SCHOOL DREAM ACT DAY OF ACTION
Washington, DC—NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, commends the more than 120 events taking place in 28 states to support legislation that would allow talented children who view this country as their own to attend college, serve their nation, and attain legal status. NCLR is a member of the national coalition United We DREAM, which is organizing the National Back to School DREAM Act Day of Action on September 23 to advocate for Congress to approve the “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2009” and the “American Dream Act.” Among the cities holding “DREAM Act” events are Los Angeles, Little Rock, Tallahassee, Albuquerque, Detroit, and Denver. For a full listing, please visit www.dreamactivist.org.
“The DREAM Act Day of Action is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges faced by students, families, and communities across America due to our broken immigration system. Unless Congress takes action, the door to higher education will be slammed shut for yet another generation of bright and talented students. Our immigration laws are to blame for this no-win situation and they must be fixed,” said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO.
The “DREAM Act” is bipartisan legislation that would restore states’ right to determine residency requirements for in-state tuition and establish a path to legal status and eventual citizenship for students who satisfy certain higher education or military service requirements. Some examples of events to be held to urge passage of this legislation on September 23 are:
Los Angeles, California: Dream Team LA will host a press conference with members of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) who will vote on a resolution supporting undocumented students. Students in caps and gowns will share their stories and LAUSD board members will speak. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been invited.
Overland Park, Kansas: The student organization Latinos United Now and Always (LUNA) will host a “cap and gown” soccer game in the middle of campus while gathering petitions to support the “DREAM Act.”
Little Rock, Arkansas: A group fromthe Student Immigrant Movement in Massachusetts will participate in a ceremony in Arkansas to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School by the Little Rock Nine.
Detroit, Michigan: Herta Llusho, a 19-year-old undocumented student from Albania, will continue to fight against her deportation order. She and other students from the University of Detroit Mercy will host a rally on campus. Their university president will speak.
Albuquerque, New Mexico: Somos Un Pueblo Unido and other student organizations from the University of New Mexico will host a rally with dozens of students marching in caps and gowns.
Tempe, Arizona: The Arizona DREAM Act Coalition will host a play about the life of a “dreamer” on the campus of Arizona State University.
Tallahassee, Florida: Students from Advocates for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, as well as United States Students Association President Gregory Cendana, will participate in a panel presentation at Florida State University.
Red Lodge, Montana: Community members and “DREAM Act” supporters in Montana will gather for a screening of the documentary Made in L.A., followed by a discussion about why the “DREAM Act” and immigration reform must be approved.
Denver, Colorado: Students from local high schools will march from Alma Park to the Auraria campus (which combines the campuses of the Community College of Denver, the Metropolitan State College of Denver, and the University of Colorado Denver) to join college students, faith leaders, college professors and local elected officials.
“The local events held on September 23 to support the ‘DREAM Act’ are in the best tradition of America. It is in the cities and small towns of this great nation where an individual’s value is recognized and where the impact of missed opportunities is felt most strongly. These communities are to be commended for coming together and highlighting the inspiring stories of these young people,” concluded Murguía.
The United We DREAM coalition consists of a broad range of groups, including organizations focused on youth, education, immigration, civil rights, faith, and labor. NCLR, the National Immigration Law Center, Center for American Progress, National Immigration Forum, United States Student Association, and Student Labor Action Project are among the national organizations in the coalition.