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CONTACT: Voces de la Frontera
Maricela Aguilar (414-469-6671)
Undocumented and Unafraid: Dora Comes Out and Urges for Passage of Dream Act
WASHINGTON - June 2 - "My
father was born in this country. My mother is a naturalized citizen.
Yet, I am undocumented and because of our broken immigration system
I have been struggling for the last twelve years to change my
immigration status," says Pedro, a marketing major at MATC. "I
grew up here, my family is here, I want to stay here and put my
talents to good use to help this country. I need the DREAM Act."
Pedro and four other undocumented students will participate in a press conference and a "coming out" rally on Wednesday, June 2nd at 3:30 pm on the steps of the Federal Courthouse, 517 E Wisconsin Avenue where Senator Feingold's Milwaukee office is located. By "coming out" the students will reveal their undocumented status and share their stories to generate public sympathy and to pressure the Senate to push for the DREAM Act as a standalone bill in June. The DREAM Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation that would create access to student loans and a conditional path to citizenship for undocumented students through their studies or military service.
"We're tired of living in the shadows. We're undocumented and unafraid," declares Maricela Aguilar, one of the other students coming out, "the presence of undocumented students in Wisconsin can no longer be overlooked and their demands can no longer be ignored. We need the DREAM Act." Aguilar attends Marquette University on a full-tuition scholarship and will graduate in 2012 with a double major; a degree she will be unable to use without the passage of the DREAM Act. The other students coming out on Wednesday will be Mario, a recent high school graduate, and Jose, a UW-Madison student. All are members of the group Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES). YES is the youth arm of the organization Voces de la Frontera, which supports the DREAM Act.
"Voces de la Frontera will always push for comprehensive immigration reform for the 12 million undocumented workers that are living here," says Christine Neumann Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera "but we do not believe that the DREAM Act has to wait for broader reform to pass. The dreams of immigrant children are important to us, and we know that if the DREAM Act passes these students will never stop fighting for their families."
Dora the Explorer will make a special appearance at the rally. She will be talking about her immigration status and urging the passage of the DREAM Act. Dora will appear as part of a national educational campaign that Aguilar and a committee of other youth from across the country have created, called "Don't Deport Dora." She elaborates, "the campaign seeks to educate the public on the hardships faced by undocumented youth in this country and to win support for the DREAM Act." Dora first revealed her status in New York last week and will travel throughout the nation to fight for the passage of the Dream Act in 2010. The press conference also coincides with the launch of the campaign website www.dontdeportdora.com.
What: Press Conference
When: Wednesday June 2, 2010
Where: Federal Courthouse, 517 E Wisconsin Avenue
Time: 3:30 pm
Visuals: Dora the Explorer, students in graduation gowns and undocumented shirts