In case you missed it, the DREAM Now letter series launched this week, with a letter from DREAM Act student Mohammad Abdollahi. The first featured let
July 21, 2010

In case you missed it, the DREAM Now letter series launched this week, with a letter from DREAM Act student Mohammad Abdollahi. The first featured letter-writer, Mohammad, helped to organize this week's DREAM mobilization in DC, which consisted of lobby visits, a "mock graduation," and student-led rallies. The mobilization took a controversial turn yesterday, as 21 young people engaged in civil disobedience in the nation's capitol to highlight the urgency they feel for moving the legislation -- the youth risked deportation because of their immigration status.  

Today, Senator Reid was quoted on his desire to move forward on the DREAM Act, with comprehensive reform stalled, but much work remains to ensure DREAM passes.

The DREAM Now letters to follow each week, from undocumented young people who feel they must tell their stories, will be used to call attention to the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act without further delay. Please get involved by posting the letters on your blog, your facebook or twitter profiles, or wherever you can. Together we can make the DREAM Act a reality for the million or more young people whose lives are now on hold, waiting for this critical legislation -- a stepping stone to full immigration reform that 70% of Americans support.

Today's DREAM Now Letter is from Yahaira Carrillo:

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Yahaira Carrillo and I'm undocumented.  As I write this, over 20 undocumented youth are risking arrest and deportation to demand that Congress take action for the DREAM Act.  Just over two months ago, I, along with two others, became one of the first undocumented immigrants in U.S. history to do the same.  Like Mohammad Abdollahi, who wrote you a letter on Monday, I too am queer.  I risk being deported to a machista country, Mexico, where killings related to homophobia are rising.

I was born in 1985 to a barely-turned 16 year-old who had been kicked out of her house while she was pregnant for being a disgrace to the family. I lived with my mother in an abandoned house in Guerrero, Mexico. She struggled to find work, but was either harassed or asked for sexual favors. She said no. She was 17 in 1986 when the 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico. She decided to take me to the U.S., but we didn't stay that long. At my grandmother's request, we returned to Mexico. The hits kept coming: my mother ended an abusive relationship with a military man and feared for her life.

Then, my father called- after abandoning my mother while she was pregnant and being MIA for most of my early years, decided he wanted us to join him in California. My options have always been limited. I was 8 years old when I came to the U.S. When I was 14, my 18-year-old boyfriend wanted to marry me. I said no. When I graduated from the top of my high school class, I thought I couldn't go anywhere. My parents were migrant farm workers- college wasn't likely. But years later, I found a private college in Kansas that would accept me. I worked myself to the bone, and obtained an Associate's Degree. Today, I am working towards my Bachelor's degree. According to my calculations, it will take me eight years.

I've had people tell me that it's not a big deal, that I should keep on waiting for the DREAM Act to pass. My life has been on pause, rewind or replay for years. Waiting is not an option. That is why undocumented youth like myself are risking everything, right now, to pass the DREAM Act, this year. If we're putting our lives on the line for this, Mr. President, the least you can do is call members of Congress and ask them to do the same.

It started with 3 undocumented youth sitting in John McCain's office, and it has escalated to 20. How many more will it take before Congress passes the DREAM Act?

Yahaira Carrillo

These letters are cross-posted from Citizen Orange to America's Voice, Blue Mass. Group, Docudharma, Daily Kos, Open Left, Firedoglake, and Breakthrough's B-Listed blog. Contact Kyle de Beausset at kyle at citizenorange dot com to begin cross-posting at your blog or website.

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