Senators in Favor of Dream Act

By: Carolina Cruz

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education Last week, 22 Senators signed a petition letter for President Obama. They asked Obama to grant deferred action to all eligible young students who would benefit from the Dream Act in the United States. If deferred action is granted, this legislation would give a select group of students the chance to earn legal status if they fall under all the other prerequisites. During a visit to Chicago last Saturday, Congressman Luis Gutierrez held a press conference at Lincoln Methodist Church in Pilsen. Gutierrez mentioned the letter and the reason behind his visit. “The letter says do not deport anymore DREAM eligible students from the Unites States of America,” said Gutierrez. Here is a small portion from the letter addressed to Obama:

We strongly believe that DREAM Act students should not be removed from the United States, because they have great potential to contribute to our country and children should not be punished for their parents’ mistakes. As you said in your State of the Union Address, “let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, who could be further enriching this nation.”

The letter was signed on Wednesday, April 13 by 22 Senators. A meeting with President Obama to discuss their options is set for after May 1, stated Gutierrez. In addition, Gutierrez talked about his dissatisfaction with Obama’s administration when it came to immigration reform. He said that when Obama sent 1,200 troops to the borders it was not because he was responding to an act of Congress, he used his discretion. Also, when Obama said that all the employers with federal contracts must go through e-verify when hiring people for their companies, Obama used his discretion, said Gutierrez. “Mr. President, have some balance and some compassion, use your discretion to stop the deportations of young men and women,” he said.

Gutierrez will be traveling to 25 cities on his national tour to highlight deportations and meet with key Democratic strongholds. Some of these cities include Milwaukee, Detroit and Charlotte, North Carolina. All of these cities have a large and growing immigrant community that would benefit if a federal or state Dream Act gets to pass. The organization ‘Familia Latina Unida’ from Pilsen helped organize the event on Saturday. One of the members from the group, Tania Lozano, 21, shared her thoughts about Gutierrez’s words. “This should be the beginning of a movement, what we are doing right now gets the people excited about May 2.”

‘Familia Latina Unida’ is organizing an event to surround Chicago City Hall with a human chain on May 2. Their message is to stand up for the rights of immigrant families and their unity. Alejandro Alvarado, 23, also a member of the organization, advises individuals, who are still afraid, to get out of the shadows to keep fighting. For people like Miriam Perez, 27, one of the leaders of the group, Gutierrez’s words meant much more. She admitted seeing people, like the congressman, talk in favor of them gives her hope. “This way we are not as afraid as we used to because important figures are coming to support us. They are many people who feel like shadows thinking that if we complain they will send us back and all we want is a better future,” said Perez. If you would like to join ‘Familia Latina Unida’ on their human chain, contact Emma Lozano at 773-847-7282. For more information check

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