…send a clear message to Washington: ACT NOW on the Dream Act — create a path for undocumented youth to earn their citizenship. We won’t rest until Congress hears our voices, with momentum building for immigration reform, the time is now. Tell your story, send in a picture, sign the petition and become a part of a living, breathing call to action that Congress can’t ignore. Story by story, voice by voice we will make it happen.
There are an estimated one to two million undocumented young people living in America who were brought here as children. These young people have grown up here, attended our schools and learned to speak English just like their classmates. The U.S. is the only country they’ve ever known.
Current law provides no path for them to remain in the country lawfully. There is no line in which to wait or application for legal status to complete, no matter how exemplary their behavior, how young they were when they arrived in the U.S. and no matter how valuable their potential contributions to our country.
Both the President and Congress have signaled that immigration reform will be a top priority in 2013. The DREAM Act, which would give undocumented young people raised in the U.S. the chance to earn a path to citizenship by going to college or defending America in the armed forces, is one essential piece of this legislative effort. While the President has suspended deportations and authorized work permits for qualified undocumented youth through an executive action, these are only temporary fixes. There is still the need for Congress to change our immigration laws and with momentum building behind immigration reform, DREAM can become a reality.
Emerson Collective, an organization that supports social entrepreneurs and organizations working in the areas of education and immigration reform, and social justice, is working to advance the principles of the DREAM Act. Fifteen years ago, Laurene Powell Jobs, chair of Emerson Collective, founded a national after-school program called College Track that helps students from underserved communities get into and graduate from college. Over twenty percent of the students in the program are undocumented. Through her work at Emerson Collective and College Track, Powell Jobs has worked closely with DREAMers and is committed to advancing immigration reform that includes the principles of the DREAM Act.
Emerson Collective has partnered with Davis Guggenheim, the award-winning director of “Waiting for Superman” and “An Inconvenient Truth,” to convey the challenges confronting these courageous young people and help create a path to earned citizenship for those willing to work hard and earn it.
Our hope is that these personal stories will demonstrate the need to keep families together, offer aspiring Americans a chance to make better lives for themselves and ensure that our economy enjoys the full benefits of those who live here.
We would like to thank the following partners who echo the need for sensible immigration reform:
- American Civil Liberties Union
- American Sunrise
- Asian Law Caucus
- California Charter Schools Association
- Center for American Progress
- The Center for the Next Generation
- President William Jefferson Clinton
- Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
- College Track
- Communities in Schools
- Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
- A Dream Come True
- Educators for Fair Consideration
- East Bay Community Law Center
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Greenlining Institute
- High School Dreamer
- Human Rights Watch
- Immigrant Nation
- Latin American Youth Center
- Let Us Serve
- MinKwon Center for Community Action
- National Council of La Raza
- National Immigration Law Center
- NewSchools Venture Fund
- Parent Revolution
- Stand for Children
- Student Immigrant Movement
- Students Matter
- Teach for America
- UCLA Labor Center
- UC Santa Cruz, Educational Opportunity Programs
- Undocumented Student Program, UC Berkeley
- Unitarian Universalist Association
- United We Dream
- Voto Latino
- Youth Speaks