Update 12/20 – As 2017 draws to a close, “Dreamers” from all around the country are marching to demand immigration policy change #DreamActNow. Here’s what some young undocumented students are asking for.
Youth Radio asked some of the members of UC Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program what they want from Congress.
Daniela Amador, 19:
I say to Congress, we are no longer your bargaining chips. We won’t continue allowing you to capitalize on our fear. This movement goes beyond what you are willing to do for our community. It goes beyond legalities. This movement is for immigrant liberation and we will no longer wait for you to realize our humanity is valid. We’re done sleeping, we’re done dreaming, we’re awake and ready to fight for all 11 million.
Nadia Kim, 22:
I’m done complacently waiting for change. I’m done living under the pretense that Democrats will act justly on behalf of the integrity and liberation of my loved ones and myself. I’m done entrusting a capitalist government that solely values my community’s labor and productivity while it simultaneously exploits, detains, criminalizes, and dehumanizes the millions that don’t fit the Dreamer caricature.
Paola Mora, 21:
DACA was a temporary solution to a much larger structural problem in our immigration system, and it made a large portion of us undocumented youth complacent to the deportation of the rest of our community.
Often, Dreamers are deemed the “good immigrants” and in that connotation, anyone else [is one of] the “bad ones”– the “criminals.” Through that lens, my parents are categorized in the latter, but when I look at them I only see my heroes. Who would deliberately leave all their lives, their parents, their siblings and all they ever knew behind with no security at the other end? My parents. Who went 15+ years without being able to hug their mother or father? My parents. Who had to hear the news that their mother and father passed away without being able to hug them one last time? My parents.
Valeria Suarez, 21:
Asking for our parents and our community members to not be deported while we are fighting for the DREAM Act is not asking for the world, it is asking for the bare minimum. If we are to fight, we must fight for all 11 million undocumented lives and fighting for a clean DREAM Act is only the start.