Promise Kept: Community celebrates historic victory for undocumented Youth
DETROIT, August 15, 2012: Today, three young immigrants were joined by Congressman John Conyers and other community leaders in front of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office in Detroit on the first day of applications for the Obama Administration's DREAM Relief program. The new policy will allow eligible young people to obtain protection from deportation for two years and a work permit.
After years of organizing, the DREAM Relief program offers the first glimpse of hope to the undocumented in decades. The pro-immigrant movement cautiously hailed the new reform two months ago, and urged the Obama Administration to keep their word to implement the program by today's deadline, August 15th. Today, with the reform fully in place, organizers congratulated USCIS and the Administration on keeping an important promise.
“For years, I was frustrated. Despite my hard work, my good grades, my leadership, and my deep roots in this community, my dreams sometimes seemed out of reach,” said Adonis Flores, a Wayne State University Business student who was his high school’s valedictorian. “Now, there is some hope. I may be able to work and study freely, and fulfill my whole potential. Now we need to keep fighting so the whole community can have the same chance.”
The United Auto Workers Local 600 in Dearborn will be the site of a workshop for those seeking information on the new reforms. Officials from the UAW were on hand as well as Lidia Reyes, Executive Director of Latino Family Services and Hassan Jaber, Executive Director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS). Leaders also committed to keep watch over the new process, and fight for strong and fair implementation.
“We’re so glad that the Administration kept their promise, and young people are now able to apply for DREAM Relief,” said Lidia Reyes of Latino Family Services in Southwest Detroit, “The community won this reform by getting active and making our voices heard. We're going to stay active and ensure that DREAM Relief is implemented properly, fairly, and that our young people get the opportunities they deserve. This is a first step towards justice, and we still need many more.”
Congressman John Conyers at AIR news conference celebrating first day of new immigration reform
– photo by Nour Al Hoda Ballout
15-year-old Brenda Montvoy of Detroit, who will apply for relief from asylum based on new immigration reforms
In the back ground, l to r – Juan Sancen another young immigrant engaging the process,
News conference MC – Daniel Morales
Congressman John Conyers
-photo by Mirna Haidar
Adonis Flores, Wayne State University Business student, applying for the new immigration status; in the background are: Hassan Jaber – Executive Director of ACCESS, and Congressman John Conyers.
-Photo by Mirna Haidar.