We were glad that an event in New York focused on passing the Dream Act was held this Sunday (11.21.10) and we thank all who supported it. However, for Sunday’s event, Dreamers who risked their lives in various ways throughout the year to get us to this place were first refused a place on the stage and then given 45 scripted seconds to serve as tokens and pawns for the organizers. We should have a voice is this dialogue so we said what we had to say at the event. Our speech and statement follows:
We are not here today to tell our individual stories. We are here to tell the story of many dreamers around the country that have been working on the Dream Act for the past decade. Lets first acknowledge the teachers, parents, students, siblings, allies, activists who have really stood up for the dream act. Lets acknowledge the dreamers like those present today who were told to censor their speech, thrown under the bus, called petulant children, called selfish and were accused of dividing the movement. Let’s acknowledge the hard work of dreamers; it is because of their rallies, marches, vigils, coming out stories, hunger strikes, walks, and arrests that the Dream Act is up for a vote now.
Let’s acknowledge those on stage and present to speak today because finally they have come on board to support the Dream Act. We are here today because it is time to pass the Dream Act, and we demand elected officials to keep their promises and actually do real work in getting votes for the Dream Act. We ask the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to not only preach about the Dream Act being the right thing for immigrant communities but for each and every one of them to co-sponsor it and use their full political power to make it a reality. If they want to work for the best interest of our movement, they need to do what our communities need, not what political affiliations ask them to. We also ask fellow pro-immigrant organizations whose mission is to advocate for immigrant communities to actually advocate what we demand and not what they may think is best for us.
Let’s take some accountability today folks.What so many fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them. Today does not mark the start of the Dream Act movement led by politicians, today marks the understanding that this movement was long ago started by the people, by immigrants, by undocumented youth. The time to pass the Dream Act is NOW. All of us need to call our senators and representatives, we need our elected officials to do real work, we need not shame and silence dreamers anymore. The Dream Act needs our collective work and power; immigrants, politicians, organizations and supporters need to come together and push as a unified and solid group for the Dream Act. Palante siempre palante. Pass the Dream Act now!!
We do not issue this statement to divide the movement, as we have been accused of doing many times, but to make our voices heard in this dialogue about our futures and futures of our families. We believe the voices of Dreamers are equally important to any elected official or leader of the immigrant rights movement and only by acknowledging this will the immigrant rights movement provide true dignity and unity to immigrants. We invite all elected officials and immigrant advocates to join us in a commitment to change the status quo within the immigrant rights movement by allowing the voices of undocumented youth to be heard and respected from this day forward.