Support NC DREAM TEAM Hunger Strike and Encampment for the DREAM Act!
Posted by raleighfist on June 21, 2010
The following is a statement issued by the NC DREAM TEAM, an inspiring group of three young women who are currently on a hunger strike and holding an encampment in Downtown Raleigh to push Senator Kay Hagan to sign on to the DREAM Act. Please read and circulate the statement, and find ways that you can show solidarity to these three brave fighters. Visit their website http://ncdreamteam.wordpress.com for more info and updates.
To All People of Conscience:
Hear our cry for help.
Over a decade ago, our parents were forced to make decisions beyond our control and understanding. They decided to migrate to the land of opportunity, the United States of America, in search of a better future for their family. Throughout the years, we have overcome many barriers. We managed to learn a new language and culture as our own; we are bilingual and bicultural. We have attended schools in a country that we love. We pay taxes. We have given back to our communities through tireless volunteering. However, we have become members of a society that does not recognize us as fully human – we are labeled as illegal aliens and denied equal access to higher education.
Yet there is still hope. Almost ten years ago a bill was introduced before the United States Senate; the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, widely known as the DREAM ACT. This bill would open the doors of higher education to thousands of undocumented students if they meet the following requirements: students must have good moral character, arrived in the US at or before the age of 16, lived here for more than 5 years, graduated from high school, and must be under 35 years of age.
A path toward legalization would be opened for over 1.5 million undocumented youth who would be eligible under the DREAM ACT. Our lives and the lives of millions of immigrant youth depend on this bill. Yet many US Senators refuse to let our dreams come true and have stalled the passage of this bill. Among those senators is Kay Hagan, who currently does not support the DREAM ACT. While stating that education is one of her top priorities, we believe it is contradictory of her to oppose our DREAMS. Our Senator also mentioned that she has “no tolerance for wasted spending.” Yet our state invests in our education since elementary school but fails to continue that investment after high school. Despite the fact that we have contributed to our community for more than half our lives, our DREAMS are denied because we lack a 9-digit number. As undocumented youth, we are required to pay for school at out-of-state rates, with no financial aid, and with very limited scholarship opportunities, making it impossible to attend college.
We are asking Senator Kay Hagan to meet with us because we will not eat a single bite until she co-sponsors the DREAM ACT. We have written her letters, called her office, sent her postcards, and arranged meetings, but our voices have not been heard to this day. Yet we will not be discouraged. We cannot watch our DREAMS continue to be crushed in front of our eyes. We are compelled to escalate our attempts to be heard and we are undertaking a hunger strike near her office in Raleigh. We cannot wait any longer and we cannot do it alone.
This is why we are asking you today to think of the thousands of students who will be affected by the passage of the DREAM ACT – students who are willing to contribute back fully to our community if only given a chance. We have attached a list of different ways you can support us. Please take action for education for all.
NC DREAM TEAM
Loida, Rosario, Viridiana
10 Ways to Take Action
1. Call Senator Kay Hagan and tell her to meet with the three immigrant youth that are on a hunger strike because they will not eat a single bite until she co-sponsors the DREAM ACT.
DC (202) 224-6342
Greensboro (336) 333-5311
Raleigh (919) 856-4630
2. Organize your youth or community organization to come and hold a vigil where we are camping at the corner of Wilmington and Lane Streets. To arrange a vigil with us, please contact Justin Valas at the.j.val.@gmail.com
3. Fast for one day in solidarity with us. You can send a message to your friends and tell them the reason you are fasting and ask them to take action too.
4. Make a t-shirt that you can wear in solidarity with us. For example: “I stand in solidarity with the hunger strikers (front). I support education for all (back).”
5. Contribute to our DREAMS by providing us with supplies such as water, Gatorade, Pedialyte, posterboard, markers, tape, scissors, and any other educational and outreach supplies. For further information or suggestions email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Donate your skills. We are in need of a medical team to check our vitals, be on-call, and/or provide as-needed medical assistance. To sign-up for our medical team, contact Rebecca Fontaine at Rebecca@SCSJ.org
7. Donate to the cause. Monetary donations are always appreciated. Your donation could be used to pay for our portable toilet, internet (no free wireless at the campsite), emergency supplies, etc… Email Emily Cabaniss at Emily_cabaniss@ncsu.edu.
8. Volunteer. We have all types of opportunities! As days pass by our bodies are becming weaker. We are in great need of security and support volunteers. For more info email email@example.com
9. Support us through Facebook: “supporters of the DREAM TEAM NC,” or follow us on Twitter: @ NCDREAMTeam
10. Follow our blog with daily updates: http://ncdreamteam.wordpress.com