Posts tagged education.
RELEASE ALL LOW-PRIORITY DETAINEES AT THE BROWARD DETENTION CENTER
Over the course of the last month, as the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, we have been working hard to infiltrate into select detention centers around the country to see what is really happening.
On June 17th, 2011, President Obama, through ICE director John Morton, issued a memorandum outlining his administration’s enforcement priorities. These priorities specifically called for the use of discretion in many low-priority deportation cases. Just like many other promises by this administration, our organizers inside of the detention center have discovered that the Obama administration is still deporting the same people it promises not to deport.
Our organizers have seen first hand countless cases of:
— DREAM Act eligible youth;
— Individuals with no criminal record;
— Individuals clearly detained because of racial profiling tactics used by police and border patrol, including the detention of passengers in vehicles;
— Individuals with pending U visa / VAWA applications;
— Individuals with extreme medical conditions;
Pretty much you name it and we’ve seen it. Many of those detained have been at this facility for 5 to 9 months, with others detained more than 20 months.
For each day an individual is detained at this facility tax-payers, you, are paying a private company (GEO group) about $166 to keep our loved ones locked up. That’s over $40,000 on average for low-priority cases that could just be administratively closed, as the Presidents administration promised it was doing.
Therefore we are asking for a full and complete review of each detainee at the Broward Detention center and that all low-priority detainees immediately be released and their cases administratively closed
NO CRIMINAL RECORD
Felipe Garcia, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for over 13 years.On April 26, 2012, Felipe was detained dropping off his wheelchair bound son at school, after leaving the parking lot he was pulled over by an officer without any reason. The police officer called ICE on the spot and Felipe was taken directly to Broward. Felipe has never been in trouble with anyone.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/felipe/
Hugo Castro, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for 7 years. on June 21st the car Hugo was a passenger in was pulled over for running a yellow light and he was detained. Hugo has never been in trouble with anyone and is a complete low-priority deportation. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/hugo
Cesar Hidalgo, originally from Ecuador, has been living in Florida for over 20 years. Hidalgo is 52, he has two children, both green card holders, aged 30 and 25. Earlier this summer Hidalgo was detained by ICE after hotel security called police while he was passing out flyers. He has never been in trouble with anyone. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/hidalgo
Katealyli Paboje, originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida for 12 years. Katealyli was detained in early July, 2012, after she accepted a check as payment that had no funds. She had no idea the check would bounce, yet she was detained in jail for one night and ordered to do community service. She was soon thereafter detained by ICE.
Angel Raimundo, originally from Guatemala, has been living in Florida for 7 years. Angel was detained on May 11th for calling the police for help when he was being followed by two men. Not being able to speak english the police thought he was playing a prank on them. He has been detained since and has never been in trouble with anyone.
Leandro Cecilio, (A#205-014-4260) originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for over 15 years. Leandro has never been in trouble with the police, he was told he rolled a stop sign and so he was detained. He has been detained at Broward since June of 2012.
Daniel Castro, originally from the Dominican Republic, has been living in Florida for more than 10 years. Daniel has been detained for no reason other than profiling, he was waiting for the bus when ICE stopped and snatched him up. He has never been in trouble with the law.
Jose Luis Vasquez, originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida for over 8 years. Jose is another victim of being nothing more than a passenger in a vehicle. His friend was pulled over after their tail-light went out on the turn pike, all 4 passengers were detained by ICE. Jose has never had any trouble with anyone.
Guilbert Mosqueda, (A# 205-128-731) originally from Costa Rica, Guilbert has been living in Florida for 2 years. Guilbert was detained when his boss’ car was pulled over and, as a passenger, he was asked for identification. He’s been at Broward since July 5th!
Milton Perez, originally from Guatemala, has been living in Florida for over 5 years. Milton was detained on July 5th for apparently rolling a stop sign, the officer discovered he had no license. Milton has never been in trouble with the police, in fact he owns his own Mechanic shop. Milton has been detained since July 5th.
Jaime Pena, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for over 18 years. Jaime has never been in trouble with anyone, in fact he was detained for merely being a passenger in a car. Jaime does not know why the car was pulled over, the police officer wouldn’t give them a reason. Jaime has been detained since May of 2012.
Ever Gonzalez, originally from Guatemala, has lived in Florida ever since he was 15 years old. Ever is a DREAM Act eligible student, he has requested GED coursework while in detention. Ever was detained for driving without a license, he has been inside of Broward since July 1st, 2012, two weeks after President Obama issued the deferred action memo.
Marco Moss, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida since he was 15-years old. Marco is DREAM Act eligible, he had scheduled taking his GED two-months after he was detained. Marco has been detained since July 2nd for driving without a license.
Delman Matute, originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida since he was 14-years old. Delman is DREAM Act eligible, yet he has been detained since July 12th, 2012. Delman was profiled while he was driving home from work at 2:00am. He was found to have no license.
Roberto Francisco, originally from Guatemala, has been living in Florida since he was 11-years old. Roberto was detained on June 16th on his way to church to sing in the choir. Roberto, DREAM Act eligible, was detained the day after President Obama promised to stop deporting DREAMers.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/roberto/
Hugo Armando Sanchez-Olvera, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for 15 years. Hugo is a DREAM Act student, he has been detained since January, 2012. Hugo was arrested once before for a DUI, however it does not make him in-eligible for the deferred action as laid out by president Obama.
Juan Carlos Amador, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida since he was 15 years old. Juan was pulled over in June of 2012 for not using his signals, he has been detained at Broward ever since. Juan is DREAM Act eligible.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/amador/
Hilario Vazquez, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for 11 years.Hilario wass detained in June of 2012 for nothing more than driving without a license. He has been detained since and has been forced to sign voluntary departure. Hilario has never been in trouble, not so much as a traffic ticket.
Antonio Molina Barradona, originally from El Salvador, has been living in Florida for 11 years. Antonio was detained on May 24th after the driver of the car he was riding in was involved in a minor accident. Antonio was only the passenger and yet he was still detained.
Hugo Mello, originally from Uruguay, has been living in Florida for 10-years. Hugo was profiled by ICE, he was randomly detained as he was leaving Home Depot.He has been detained at Broward since April of 2012.
Julio Pineda blanco, originally from Mexico, has lived in Florida for 7 years. On April 25th Julio was profiled and pulled over by an officer demanding to see his license. Julio has been at Broward ever since. A year ago Julio’s brother was killed in Mexico, he fears being deported and killed.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/blanco/
Mohammed Sooknanan, originally from Guyana, has been detained since December 6th, 2011, over 9 months! Mohammed has no criminal record, he was detained for driving with an expired tag. Mohammed’s marriage application is pending, he has never been deported before and is not a flight risk yet Judge Rex refuses to release him. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/mohammed/
Guillermo Hernandez, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for the past 10 years. Guillermo’s wife just gave birth to his 3-month pre-mature child who is now suffering serious heart problems. Guillermo has no criminal record and needs to be released immediately.
Maria Leon, originally from Venezuela, has been living in Florida for over 5 years. Maria is married to a United States citizen, her marriage application has already been approved and her interview is supposed to be on Wednesday, July 25th, however ICE still refuses to release her. While living in Venezuela Maria worked as a flight attendant on the presidential plane, she worked for President Chavez.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/maria/
Juan Bonilla: originally from Honduras, has been living in the United States for 12 years now. Juan fled Honduras, at the threat of gangs, when he was just 16. Juan was detained on June 5th as he was moving from Arkansas to Florida to provide a better life for his wife and 1-year old son.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/bonilla/
Leobardo Benitez, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for 13 years. Leobardo was profiled on July 15th, he was pulled over without breaking a single law, the officer stated he knew Leobardo didn’t have a license. Leobardo was only 18 when he migrated to Florida. Despite a clean record he is set to be deported on August 6th. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/leobardo/
Miguel Angel Salinas, originally from El Salvador, has been living in Florida for 8 years. In 2010 Miguel was deported while driving to the store to buy medicine for his sick wife. Miguel returned to Florida to provide for his family, however in April of this year he was again detained after a police officer profiled him to find he didn’t have a license. Miguel’s son has become withdrawn and misses his father dearly. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/miguelangel
Felix Padilla, originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida for over 20 years. In 1994 Felix was deported through a work-raid but had to return to feed his family. In June of 2012 Felix’s brother, a public official in Honduras was murdered. If deported Felix worries he too will be killed. In June Felix was profiled and detained despite having a valid Maryland drivers license! Felix is the sole provider for his parents and sisters children in Honduras.http://action.dreamactivist.org/maryland/felix/
Omar Gaspar Ramirez, originally from Guatemala, has been living in Florida for over 12 years. Despite no criminal record Omar has spent the last 9-months in detention at Broward. In November Omar was profiled by local police and found to have no license. Omar’s 10-year old son suffers from Asthma and has hearing problems. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/omar/
Luis Villanueva, originally from Mexico, has been living in the United States for over 10 years. Luis has no criminal record and yet he has been detained inside of the detention center since before Thanksgiving (November 7th, 2011)! Luis is a day laborer, he was picked up in front of Home Depot without being given any warning or anything. Luis’ father was murdered and he is currently being sought out by the same people. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/luis/
Bernardo Beade, originally from Argentina, has been living in Florida for the past 12 years. Bernardo turned himself into ICE in March of 2012, however since he has learned he would qualify for a U-visa and is fighting his removal.
PREVIOUS DEPORTATION ORDER, YET ELIGIBLE FOR DISCRETION
Samuel Lopez: originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for over 20 years. On July 10th, without reason, Samuel was pulled over by border patrol and sent to the detention center. Samuel’s legal options are limited as he had fallen prey to a notary public who had mis-handled his previous case. Samuel’s 3 kids miss him terribly.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/lopez/
Victor Hernandez: originally from El Salvador, has been living in Florida for 20 years. Victor came to the U.S. fleeing the war and in hopes of earning money to send back to his father who had been incapacitated. Victor filed for asylum, however had no idea he had been ordered removed. Victor has been detained since May 8th, 2011. His now 13-year old daughter is suffering from depression.
Samuel Soto, originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida for over 14 years. He has four children who miss him very much, all four of his kids are currently undergoing therapy because of their fathers detention. Samuel has only been pulled over for driving without a license. Samuel’s daughter, Eda, is having surgery on her left ear on August 8th. Samuel has been detained since May 16th, 2012. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/samuel/
Junior Harriot, originally from Jamaica, has been living in the United States for over 18 years. Junior was once deported in 2011. In 2001 Junior was shot in the back during an attempted robbery, the bullet is still lodged in his lumbar spine.Because of his injury and lack of medical attention in detention he now has a clot in his knee, he cannot feel his right knee as it is numb. Doctors at the detention center refuse to allow him a cane, stating ‘your leg needs exercise.’ Junior could die or become handicap for life any day now because of his injuries and lack of access to proper medical care.
Carlos Castaneda, originally from Columbia, has been living in the United States for over 12 years. On May 9th, 2012, while driving a U-haul truck with his families belongings, Carlos was pulled over for no apparent reason. It was ICE, they detained him for a prior removal order and he has been at Broward ever since. Carlos has no criminal record, in fact both his 16 and 22 year old daughters are undergoing therapy and need their father home.
Cesar Leon: originally from Venezuela has been living in Florida for over 13 years. Cesar has been detained since April 20th, 2012. Cesar has no criminal record, he was detained after his asylum case was rejected. ICE has already attempted to put Cesar on a plane once, his time is running out.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/cesar/
Alberto Rodriguez, originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida for the past 12 years. He moved to Florida after Hurricane Mitch devastated everything his family owned. Alberto was detained on April 10th because of a previous deportation order. Alberto has 9 grand kids who miss him dearly. Alberto fears being returned to Honduras as several members of his family have already been killed. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/alberto/
Maulilio Mendez, originally from Guatemala, has lived in Florida for the past 10 years. In February, on his way to church, Maulilio was the victim of a car accident, instead of receiving care he was arrested and has been detained since. Maulilio has 4 children and is about to miss the birth of his 5th child.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/maulilio/
Agustin Morales, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for the past 11 years. Agustin is married and has two United States citizen children. In 1996 he was ordered removed, however had to come back in order to provide for his family. Agustin has no criminal record and is not a priority for removal. He was detained in May of 2012 due to an attorney mis-handling his case.
Macario Gonzalez, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for 11 years. Macario has a previous DUI from 2002 that has been taken care of, he is otherwise clean. In December of 2011, 9 months ago, Macario was profiled by a police officer who continually changed the reason for pulling him over. At the end he found Macario had no license and detained him. Macario has 7 children who desperately need their father back.
MINOR CRIMINAL RECORD, STILL LOW-PRIORITY
Maximino Hoz: originally from Mexico, has been living in Flordia for over 19 years. He has 6 children who miss him and want him home. Maximino’s 9-year old son has been diagnosed with depression because of his dad’s detention since December of 2011, over 9 months ago! In 2003 Maximino was charged with a DUI, however he took care of it, paid all of his fines and has never been in trouble since. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/max/ >
Aurelio Rufino Rangel, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for over 22 years. On May 20th Aurelio was detained dropping a friend off at home, he was charged with a DUI. Aurelio suffers from Diabetes and Gualt and has had fainting spells in detention. Aurelio’s wife needs him home, she suffers from Diabetes, Arthritis in both hands, and is losing sight in her right eye, to the point where she has not been able to take her insulin shots for 2 1/2 months, since Aurelio was detained.
Benjamin Aguilar, originally from Guatemala, has been living in Florid for over 16 years. Benjamin made the mistake of walking outside of his home and was taken as ‘collateral’ by ICE agents looking for someone else. He was taken as ‘collateral’. Over 15 years ago Benjamin was charged with shoplifting. Benjamin has 6 children who need him and desperately miss him.
Isidro Saldana, originally from Mexico, has lived in Florida for 12 years. Isidro had a DUI charge from a decade ago, otherwise a clean record. On November 11, 2011, he and three friends were profiled and pulled over. All four were detained and sent to Broward. Isidro has been detained for over 8 months!
Florencio Cruz, originally from El Salvador, has been living in Florid since he was 12 years old. Florencio is a DREAM Act eligible student, he has request GED coursework in detention. In 2008 Florencio was charged with a DUI, however he has taken care of that and is otherwise clean. Florencio has been detained at Broward since June 15th, the day President Obama issued his memo on deferred action for DREAMers.
Pascual Pedro Marcos, orginally from Guatemala, Pascual has been living in Florida for over 18 years, since he was just 19 years old. In 2009 Pascual was charged with DUI, however he took care of it and has an otherwise clean record. He now has two US citizen children, ages 7 and 2. Pascual’s 2-year-old son, Steven, was born with serious developmental issues. Steven has the developmental skills of a 3 month-old, and must wear a special helmet twenty-three hours a day to help shape his little head. He can only take off the helmet for bathing and for therapy purposes. Judge Rex Ford has twice denied Pascual’s bond stating he is a ‘danger to the community.’http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/pascual
Sergio de la Cruz, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for over 18 years. Sergio has two United States citizen children and a wife who miss him dearly. His oldest daughter is having some health problems and needs her father by her side. Sergio was profiled and found to have no license. In 2009 Sergio was charged with a DUI, however he paid his fines and took care of it.
Rogelio Rivera, originally from Mexico, has been living in the United States for the past 10 years. Rogelio has a previous DUI that he has taken care of, he was detained after a police officer profiled him by pulling him over for without reason. Once the officer discovered he had no license he was detained and taken to Broward. He is currently fighting his deportation on appeal.
PENDING U / T OR VAWA APPLICATION Laura Escobar, originally from Honduras, has been living in the United States for over 12 years. Escobar is charged with ‘Obstructing Justice’, however the police officer who charged her is currently being investigated by anti-corruption officers as he beat her. Laura is a victim!
Gelmino Turra, originally from Uruguay, has been living in Florida for over 13 years. In 2002 Gelmino was nearly murdered. He has since filed for a U-visa, given to victims of serious crimes, however Judge Rex Ford refuses to release him. Gelmino has been detained since December 19th, 2012. Gelmino’s 7-year old son has threatened suicide over his dad’s detention.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/gelmino/
Luis de la Cruz, originally from the Dominican Republic, has been living in Florida for more than 10-years. Luis was profiled by a police officer, randomly pulled over to find he didn’t have a license. Luis has an active U-visa case and yet he’s been detained since April 5th, 2012!
Maurino Callejas, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for over 10 years. Maurino is currently applying for a U-visa due to some abuse he faced growing up, according to ICE anyone with a pending U-visa case is not a priority for detention. Maurino has been detained since June 1st, 2012.
Santos Gonzalez, originally from Honduras, Santos has been living in Florida for the past 8 years. Santos was detained in March of 2012 after having been fighting his deportation from when he first entered the United States. Santos has filed for a U-visa and it is pending, however ICE refuses to release him.
Bismarck Mejia, originally from the Dominican Republic, has been living in the United States for over 13 years. He has a loving wife and child in Pennsylvania where he was a successful business owner. In 2011 Bismarck was detained and deported after driving without his headlights on. He has since returned and has a pending VAWA application. According to ICE those with pending applications should not be detained. Let Bismarck go.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/bismarck/
Pablicio and Regis, both from Brazil. Pablicia a DREAM Act eligible student was once deported in February of 2012 for driving without a license. Now both Pablicio and Regis are fighting to stay despite both being material witnesses in a human trafficking case. Both have a T-visa pending. ICE attempted to Deport Pablicio on July 16th.
Juan Carlos: originally from Mexico Juan had been living in the U.S. for over 20 years. He was detained at home when ICE came looking for a different person who no longer lived at that address. Juan was the sole provider for his family, not only taking care of his long-time girlfriend but also providing for his 3 siblings.After 6-months in detention and $30,000 in profit for the GEO detention group Juan was deported on Tuesday, July 24th.
Sofronio Garcia, originally from Mexico, had been living in Florida since he was 14. Sofronio was DREAM Act eligible, yet he was deported on July 27th, 2012.Sofronio contacted the Public Advocate’s office as instructed by the Obama administration’s deferred action policy, yet he was still deported.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/sofronio
Virigilio Caranza, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida for over 10 years. In January of 2012 Virigilio was detained by ICE while doing community service for a driving without a license charge. On July 24th Virigilio was deported. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/virigilio
Jose Castro: originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida for the past 10 years. Jose was detained on the 4th of July on his way to church, he was just pulled over by Border Patrol without reason and taken directly to the Broward Detention Center. Jose’s brother, a gang member in Honduras, has already kidnapped his own father and has made death threats against Jose. Jose fears for his life if deported! Jose was deported on July 23rd, 2012.
Miguel Angel Amparo, originally from the Dominican Republic, has lived in Florida for over 10 years. On July 24th Miguel was deported. Miguel had no criminal record and in fact qualified for a U visa. Miguel was initially detained on his way to the store to pick up medicine for his wife.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/miguel
Miguel Rodriguez, originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida for over 11 years. Miguel had an outstanding deportation order that led to his detention in March of 2012. Miguel has no criminal record and is otherwise eligible for low-priority status. Miguel was deported on July 30th, 2012.
Arlondo Felix Perez, originally from Guatemala, has been living in Florida for over 10 years. Arlondo was profiled and found to be driving without a license, he had been detained since May 9th. On July 27th Arlondo was released from the Broward detention center and is reunited with wife and 4 kids!http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/arlondo/
Luis Cardona, originally from Honduras, has been living in Florida for the past 6 years. On July 6th Luis was detained on his way to work, he was profiled and found to have no license. Luis has a month old child he has hardly seen, his partner of 5 years is struggling to make ends meet. Luis has no criminal record.http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/cardona
Charles Rodriguez, originally from Nicaragua, has been living in Florida for over 15 years. Charles has no criminal record, he’s been detained since May 9th, 2012. On July 25th Charles was released with a $5,000 bond!http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/charles/
Marcial Bautista-Paz, originally from Mexico, has been living in Florida since he was 14 years old. In February Marcial was detained for being in a park after hours. Despite being DREAM Act eligilbe Marcial was detained for a month and a half after Obama’s deferred action memo was issued. Marcial was released on July 27th. http://action.dreamactivist.org/florida/marcial/
Juan Solis Vazquez, originally from Guatemal, has been living in Florida since he was 14-years old. Juan is DREAM Act eligible, he has requested GED coursework in detention. Juan’s only record is a charge of petty theft, not something that makes him ineligible for discretion as laid out by President Obama. Juan’s Stay of Removal was rejected on July 25th.
Jose Matute and Roger Anael, originally from Honduras, both lived in Florida or 10 years. On June 23rd Jose and Roger were detained at the airport while waiting for their sister-in-law. Apparently they ‘looked suspicious.’ After having spent a month in detention both were finally released.
[W]hen you teach adults and children sex-negative messages, sex becomes an undifferentiated mass of “wrong.” If all sex is wrong, then why try to tease out good from bad, pleasurable from painful? When students are taught not to think about sex, they aren’t going to spend any time determining what they do and don’t want, or what they might be interested in. Of course, they’re going to have sex eventually, but when it happens will they be able to communicate at all through the veil of guilt, shame, and self-loathing that sex negativity encourage?
URGENT: On August 21, Cesar was stopped by a police officer over a minor traffic violation. When the police officer found out he was undocumented, he immediately arrested and detained him. Cesar has spent a month in detention and dreams of returning to his family and community in Michigan. Please take action to stop his deportation!
Cesar was brought to the United States almost 10 years ago. Despite many obstacles, he was able to succeed and obtain his high school diploma. He is an active member of his community and a role model to many young students. All he wants is to contribute back to the only country he knows.
TAKE ACTION - MAKE A CALL:
1. Call DHS – Janet Napolitano (202-282-8495) and ICE – John Morton (202.732.3000)
Sample Script: ”I am calling to ask that DREAM-Eligible student Cesar Montoya (A# 200 297 690) be allowed to stay in the U.S. Cesar has been living in the U.S. for almost 10 years and is a role model to young members of his community. He has a family and community who need him in this country. Don’t deport Cesar Montoya.”
SIGN THE PETITION:
Please sign the petition to your right and ask all of your contacts to do the same. You can also share the petition and action alert with your friends on Facebook/Twitter
Ethnically Indian, I was born in Fiji and I came to the United States when I was three-years-old. Six months later, I became Undocumented. At the age of 23, I became Undocumented and Unafraid.
Being raised in America, I caught the “American Dream” virus that was spread by teachers. In elementary school and middle school, I never knew what it meant to be undocumented; all I knew is that I had a passion to learn. I was exactly like the student sitting next to me learning about the values this country was founded on, believing that those who work hard can succeed in America. As sappy as it may sound, obtaining an education felt like my calling. The teachers must have seen my thirst for knowledge and recognized the eagerness in my non-verbal and verbal expressions because they always encouraged me to learn and achieve at my full potential.
My accomplishments read like a grocery list. I have been on the Honor Roll since kindergarten. In middle school, I won academic medals through my participation in MESA and Science Fairs. For every year that I was in high school, I volunteered an average of 300 hours, raising funds for March of Dimes, breast cancer research, and UNICEF. I took on an average of five honors and advanced placement courses a year. I gained the respect of the student body, teachers, and administrators through my dedication and desire to be a hardworking student. I graduated in the top five percent of my high school graduating class. I was accepted to CSULB,
CSUMB, CSULA, CSUF, UCLA, UCSC, and LMU. At the conclusion of my senior year I
accumulated more than $10,000 in scholarships from private donors ranging from $250 to $1,500. I was unable to qualify for financial aid, so I chose to pursue my undergraduate Business Administration degree with a minor in Speech Communication at CSU, Fullerton. In May of 2005, I became the first person in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. On October 1, 2011, I will submit my application for the masters in Speech Communication with emphases in Intercultural and Organization Communication to CSU, Fullerton.
The challenges faced by undocumented students are unique, but nevertheless, humbling. During my first year at CSU, Fullerton I commuted by public transportation, traveling two hours to campus. Thankfully, my teachers and scholarship donors believed in me enough to provide funding for my education. I had enough to comfortably finish my first year without having to worry about paying tuition. Nonetheless, I still had to scrape together the funds for the following year. I found a job that paid minimum wage and I saved every penny by cutting my expenses to the bare minimum. My paycheck had the federal, state, and local taxes withheld. Like everyone who works in this country, I always had taxes due to Uncle Sam. I would forgo any desire for material possessions because the desire to have a degree from a university was more important to me.
I am not a criminal. I am a productive member of society. I am educated. I am hard working. Given chance or opportunity, I will make a difference. By continuing to be Undocumented, America is being robbed of its opportunity to increase the productivity of companies; to have communities inspired, to experience significant change, and to have another humble public servant because if given the opportunity, this country would find all of these things in me. Research shows that individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are more prosperous. I want to give back to the community that nurtured my growth and development. Education is the light that I shine down the dark tunnel, to urge, challenge, and undermine the fear of not knowing my obscure future. I want to serve as a mentor to the youth in disadvantaged communities and encourage them to pursue a college education. I want to show those like me the door to success and hopefully they will be courageous enough to walk through it.
There are thousands of Undocumented college students who want to give back to the only country they know; their only home, the United States of America. People find it easy to say, “Deport them all!” To me that would mean leaving the only country that I know, leaving my mom and dad, leaving my four sisters, leaving my ten nieces and nephews, and leaving my friends, leaving behind an opportunity to make America a better place.
Immigration is a global issue affecting the lives of people everywhere. This is not just an issue for Mexicans, Central Americans, or South Americans; this is an issue for Asians, South Asians, Pacific Islanders, Australians, and anyone else who works hard and fights for the opportunity to selflessly give back to the only community they know.
We all have a choice. I choose to become a part of a higher purpose: to get the DREAM Act passed and make the world a better place. My aspiration to make a difference starts here.