Note: This was meant to be published on Friday.
By Kyle de Beausset
The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service. With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!
It’s been one month since the DREAM Now Series started, and it’s been far more successful than I had ever imagined. DREAM Now Letters have been cross-posted and mentioned by a wide selection of bloggers. Those blog posts, in turn, have been viewed, shared and retweeted tens of thousands of times.
As always when it comes to pro-migrant blogging, Latin@ blogs are at the vanguard led mostly by the strong and talented Latina bloggers at Latino Politics Blog, Latina Lista, and Vivir Latino. Time and time again, Adriana Maestas, Maegan “La Mamita Mala” Ortiz, and Marisa Treviño have stood on the side of migrant youth when few others would. They have gone above and beyond in cross-posting the letters of migrant youth.
It is within the pro-migrant online spaces largely created by Latin@s that undocumented youth bloggers have been able to thrive, connect, and organize. Though I haven’t had as much time to reach out to DREAMers to cross-post these letters online, and many DREAMers are too busy organizing to blog and tweet these days, I love that both of the migrant youth blogs Life By DREAM and Migrant Headlines have been cross-posting the DREAM Now Letters, regularly.
There’s a new group of pro-migrant bloggers that have recently been added to this coalition for the DREAM Act. As any migrant youth leader will tell you, just as racism is inextricable from nativism, so is the LGBT movement inextricable from the migrant youth movement. A disproportionate number of migrant youth leaders identify as queer.
So while national immigration reform groups have sometimes made the “strategic” decision to downplay LGBT immigration concerns in order to appeal to the religious right, that has simply never been an option for the migrant youth movement. Doing so would mean neglecting the very souls of some of our strongest leaders: among them Mario Rodas, Mohammad Abdollahi, Tania Unzueta, and Yahaira Carrillo.
That’s why I’m happy to report that the decision to model these DREAM Now Letters after a similar campaign by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to raise awareness around repealing the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy has been graciously received. Above all, the greatest honor of this campaign, has been the fact that Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend has been consistently front-paging the DREAM Now Letters. Pam is easily one of the best bloggers on the web and her support of the DREAM Now Letters is huge. Finally, a lasting symbol of the unity between the migrant youth movement and the LGBT movement will always be the demonstrations by both Lt. Dan Choi and four DREAMers during Harry Reid’s speech at Netroots Nation.
Last but not least, the broader progressive blogosphere has also been supporting the DREAM Now Letters in a way that would have been unthinkable only a couple of years ago. Crooks and Liars has been leading the Progressive blogosphere with their support of the DREAM Now Letters. Daily Kos has linked to DREAM Now Letters diaries on their front-page. While Firedoglake has not front-paged any DREAM Now Letters, FDL has consistently been the mainstream progressive blog that is most supportive of migrant youth through their publication original pro-migrant content. There’s still a lot of work to be done in the progressive blogosphere. Progressive blogs, arguably, have the largest audience that needs to be educated about the DREAM Act.
Now is not the time to fall off. A month has gone but we still have as much as a month and a half to go before we have a chance at getting a vote on the DREAM Act. The DREAM Now Letters have become crucial in flooding the internet with content about the DREAM Act and informing others who otherwise might not have heard of it. I have a to do a better job at both consistency and outreach, and I’ve think I’ve started to get to a point where that’s going to be easier for me to do. Any and all help from others is appreciated.
Below is a list of everyone who has consistently published or linked to DREAM Now Letters.
DREAM Letters Publishers:
Crooks and Liars
Docudharma Doing My Part For The Left
Latino Politics Blog
Life By DREAM
Migrant Headlines My Latino News
Pam’s House Blend
DREAM Letters Mentions:
House of Grant
Immigration Talk With A Mexican American
La Frontera Times
Para Justicia Y Libertad
The “DREAM Now” letter series is inspired by a similar campaign started by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The letters are produced by Kyle de Beausset at Citizen Orange with the assistance of America’s Voice. Every Monday and Wednesday DREAM-eligible youth will publish letters to the President, and each Friday there will be a DREAM Now recap.
Approximately 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from U.S. high schools every year, who could benefit from passage of the DREAM Act. Many undocumented youth are brought to the United States before they can even remember much else, and some don’t even realize their undocumented status until they have to get a driver’s license, want to join the military, or apply to college. DREAM Act youth are American in every sense of the word — except on paper. It’s been nearly a decade since the DREAM Act was first introduced. If Congress does not act now, another generation of promising young graduates will be relegated to the shadows and blocked from giving back fully to our great nation.
This is what you can do right now to pass the DREAM Act:
- Sign the DREAM Act Petition
- Join the DREAM Act Facebook Cause
- Send a fax in support of the DREAM Act
- Call your Senator and ask them to pass the DREAM Act now.
- Email kyle at citizenorange dot com to get more involved
Below is a list of previous entries in the DREAM Now Series:
Mohammad Abdollahi (19 July 2010)
Yahaira Carrillo (21 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – Tell Harry Reid You Want the DREAM Act Now (23 July 2010)
Wendy (26 July 2010)
Matias Ramos (28 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – The CHC Has To Stand With Migrant Youth Not Against Us (30 July 2010)
Tania Unzueta (2 August 2010)
Marlen Moreno (4 August 2010)
Weekly Recap – The Ghost of Virgil Goode Possesses the Republican Party (9 August 2010)
David Cho (9 August 2010)
Ivan Nikolov (11 August 2010)
Yves Gomes (16 August 2010)
Selvin Arevalo (18 August 2010)