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Coalition calls for passage of the DREAM Act

 

Detroit, Sept. 20, 2010: Outside Western International High School today, a coalition of faith, labor, and community leaders called on Senators Levin and Stabenow to vote YES for the DREAM Act when it comes up for a vote later this week.

 

This is a very clear moral question:  Do we want to be a nation that lifts up all of our peoplebe they immigrant or native bornor do we want to be a nation that divides our people, and only allows some of them to fulfill their full potential? said Rev. Kevin Turman, Pastor of Second Baptist Church and President of MOSES, The Senate has the opportunity to prove that we can be an uplifting nation by voting for the DREAM Act this week.



AFT - Michigan President David Hecker, UAW International President Bob King, Student Ivan Nikolov, State Representative Rashida Tlaib, Vice President of MOSES & Pastor of Second Baptist Church Rev. Kevin Turman. Photo courtesy of Reform Immigration FOR America Michigan.

 

The DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation that would allow undocumented immigrant youth who have graduated from US high schools the opportunity to earn their citizenship.  Eligible youth of good moral character would be granted a temporary immigration status, and would then be required to attend college or serve in the military for two years.   Youth would then be able to apply for permanent residency, and eventual citizenship.  An estimated 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from US high schools every year, and 2.1 million would be eligible to apply for the DREAM Act.

 

Ivan Nikolov, an undocumented immigrant student facing deportation also spoke at the event in Detroit.  I grew up in Michigan, I attended Michigan schools, and have dreams of attending Wayne State University.  I am an American in every way, except for a simple piece of paper.  It makes no sense that I would be treated like a criminal, when I could be contributing to the country that I love.  Congress should pass the DREAM Act now so that no other family should have to go through what my family is facing. 

 

Nikolov, now 22 years old, missed a court date at the age of 12 and lost his immigration status.  A community campaign, led by his US-citizen wife Alanna, succeeded in freeing Ivan from detention, though he is still fighting to remain in the country.

 

David Hecker, President of the American Federation of Teachers Michigan supported the students campaign saying, Our Senators should vote YES on the DREAM Act because its the smart thing to do for our schools, our educators, and our economy.  We are losing an entire generation of doctors, lawyers, engineers, and teachers because our broken immigration system arbitrarily denies these students the ability to achieve the American Dream we all hold dear.

 

State Representative Rashida Tlaib and United Food and Commercial Workers political director Chris Michalakis supported the call for the DREAM Act at Mondays event. For more information, visit www.reformimmigratonforamerica.org or www.michiganimmigrationreform.org

 
 

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