Undocumented and Unafraid: Dora Comes Out and Urges for Passage of Dream Act

For Immediate Release

Voces de la Frontera
Contact: 

Maricela Aguilar (414-469-6671)

Undocumented and Unafraid: Dora Comes Out and Urges for Passage of Dream Act

WASHINGTON - "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

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