WASHINGTON – Steps away from the Capitol, DREAM rider Simon Jun spoke publically for the first time Wednesday about being an undocumented student in the U.S.
“Growing up, I understood what it meant to be undocumented,” he said. “Don’t break any laws, no matter how trivial they may seem. Never tell or hint to another individual that you are undocumented.”
Standing next to fellow DREAM riders, Asian-American advocacy groups and members of Congress, Jun called on lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform. He said he is thankful to have received approval to stay in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which grants temporary residency to young adults brought to the country as children. But he said the larger issue needs a permanent fix.
EL PASO – The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that there are more than 1.7 million undocumented students in our nation. This is the case of my friend Ana, a 26-year old political science college student. Ana and I grew up together in a small mostly Anglo town in Kansas. For the security of Ana the location and her full name will not be disclosed. I never noticed any differences between us; we both always embraced the American culture rather than our Mexican roots.
The bus to the University of California at Los Angeles campus took two hours to travel a distance that would take 20 minutes by car. Sofia Campos took this bus ride twice a day during her first two years of college. As an illegal immigrant born in Lima, Peru, and brought to the U.S. when she was 6 years old, Campos can’t legally obtain a driver’s license. That’s just one of many inconveniences these students face when choosing to attend college. “We pretend when we see a cop pass by that we don’t get scared,” Campos said.
WASHINGTON – Thousands of people gather in Alabama each year to re-enact the Selma to Montgomery March that took place 47 years ago. This year protesters will have not just a memory but a new cause as they march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge. Representatives from the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Hispanic Federation, League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Council of La Raza held a rally here Wednesday to announce they would join the re-enactment of the civil rights march. They left after the rally for the 14-hour bus ride to Selma, Ala., to take part in the final two days of the Selma to Montgomery March re-enactment that started Sunday. The 1965 march for voting rights ended in violence when peaceful protesters were attacked by local law enforcement using tear gas and clubs.