New York State Youth Leadership Council

Disappointment Turning Into Strength


Jul 11


I’m so disappointed… my sister and I were counting on the dream act bill to pass like thousand and thousands of students like us! It’s not fair! But we will continue to act and call! I am 100% sure that this will pass and one day we will be able to tell our kids and grankids how proud we are to have been part of this very important battle for the future of so many young dreamers like myself and my sister. Just like in the past many other battles were conquered to ensure freedom and equality of rights. We deserve to be recognized in our communities because we form them too! Anyway, who are they to judge? Everybody in this country comes from an immigrant family who came here many years ago looking for the same thing our families came here for.
They will realize they made a big mistake because we are the future of this country.

Paula, thank you for your email.
You are a very inspiring and strong to not let this one vote bring you down. I understand you were counting on it, we all were. It’s something we have been advocating for a while now but the fight still continues both at the  federal and state level. Thank you for reminding us that many other movements waited years for some relief to come. We cannot stress ourselves because change doesn’t happen one day to the next. This battle has just begun and we cannot stop now especially that our communities are under attack.

Our parents broke their backs working to sustain this country for years without asking or demanding anything in return. All they wanted was a chance at the American Dream. Immigrants have fed their families, raised their children, took care of their pets and their property too. Yes, we deserve to be recognized. If it were their family that needed a better life and a better future they would have done the same thing. Everyone migrated here because of the same dream.

Our hard work will count some day. maybe not this year or the next, but it will pass. We cannot lose hope because thousands of youth are counting on us.

Hello angy.
I recently joined the dream activist group because I am in need of some hope and something to still live for. I’m looking for more ways to get involved and maybe that will make the time worth the wait. I moved here when I was 7 from czech republic and the reality of this situation did not come too into perspective until I was 16 and could not drive. I need something to go for and I need some hope, are we getting any closer?

Thank you for your email and for taking a stand for human rights and immigrants. We need as many people as we can get to fight for change and I am glad you have decided to join. However, many times giving yourself up entirely to a movement is unhealthy when signs of depression, like lacking hope and reasons to live, are present. I understand that many times we do it so we won’t have to think about our lives and our situation but sometimes we need to deal with those feelings first, they cannot be ignored. Please read Jose’s story it’s similar to yours.

Honestly, I don’t know if we are closer and that’s why I don’t suggest giving your life up for the Dream Act it’s just a bill and it doesn’t define you it also shouldn’t limit what you do and don’t do. Don’t put your life on hold because of this bill. What If it never passes? You know how they say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There are many small but equally powerful things happening at the same time. We want to put a stop to 287g, secure communities and state laws like SB1070. There’s also the ask for deferred action which would halt the deportations of Dream Act eligible people. Even if the federal Dream Act doesn’t pass soon we hope to get state level dream act versions passed; we hope to have some sort of relief.

Realize that being undocumented is not going to just disappear one day because you joined an organization and it’s something that you’ll need to come to terms with. What if there is another failed vote? Are we mentally and emotionally ready for that? Remember to heal yourself before you can help heal others. Don’t ever forget to take care of yourself because this is a long road and I’m not going to say it will be easy or quick because i don’t know that.

Many times when we feel like giving up or going back we have to remember why we came here in the first place and who inspires us, friends, family, neighbors, siblings, other stories. Things might be cloudy now but it cannot rain forever.

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The views expressed by the author on this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC)