Dear Dreamers and Allies,
Thanks to you, tens of thousands of calls were made, outnumbering anti-Dream calls by a 10-1 margin in many parts of the country (including North Dakota). Thanks to you, Democratic Leadership has made passing the Dream Act a top priority of this Congress. Thanks to you, Dreamers all over the country are able to proudly call themselves undocumented and unafraid. Thanks to you, the voices of immigrants are finally at the forefront of the immigration debate. Thanks to you, we are poised for a win.
Many of us watched the events of this week with baited breath, hoping that our time had finally come. The Department of Defense Reauthorization bill failed to make cloture on Tuesday. With this vote, Congress decided to avoid discussing the defense bill, which would’ve had amendments attached to it later, including the Dream Act. Thus, this was only one avenue for a vote on Dream and we have yet to have a vote on the Dream Act itself. In fact, on Wednesday, Senator Durbin, the lead sponsor of the Dream Act, announced that he is reintroducing it this week and that it will finally be placed on the Senate calendar. This is a huge win. The Dream Act is now on the agenda. This means that the Dream Act will be voted on before the end of the year. And it is due to the work you did- be it walking hundreds of miles, fasting for days, making hundreds of calls, educating your community, risking your lives in acts of civil disobedience, or yelling out loud that you are undocumented and unafraid.
So friends, this week is a victory for us. But it is not the ultimate victory. We have a lot of work left to do. In order to win, we will each need to recommit to this movement and do everything we did this week times ten. But we know we can do it. Some doubt us, some say it will take a miracle. But we have been doubted before. Some doubted that we could graduate from high school, some doubted that we could go to college, some doubted that we would still be here now, but here we are, in college, leaders in our community, and at the forefront of the immigrant rights movement.
So we know that no matter what they say, we have what it takes and we can do this. We now know our true power, so let’s get this done!
The New York State Youth Leadership Council