Sunday, January 18, 2009

Immigrant Students

Immigrant Students, DREAM Act Supporters Hoping Obama Will Take Up Their Cause
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

As the much-anticipated presidential inauguration of Barack Obama approaches, one group of immigrant activists in particular is feverishly pushing for their cause to be heard by the incoming president. They are young undocumented immigrant students who grew up in the U.S. and their supporters, who are hoping that the new administration will push for passage of the DREAM Act, a law that would allow the students to become U.S. citizens provided they meet certain conditions.
Undocumented students, hoping to come out of the shadows.

Hoping to come out of the shadows. (Video capture:

Their cause got an extra bit of support through an online contest organized by, a social action network (not to be confused with the president-elect’s website

For the last few weeks, the site hosted an online vote to select “the best ten ideas for change,” which will be announced today at an event at the National Press Club.

The contest was born as a response to Obama’s call to Americans to get involved in their government. “We started the Ideas for Change in America initiative in the hope that we could translate the energy behind the Obama election into a citizen-led movement for change around the major issues we face,” the organizers said.

Thousands of ideas were submitted and over 600,000 votes were cast. Activists for causes as varied as marijuana legalization, gay marriage, and green energy mobilized to make their voices heard and to gather votes for their ideas. As of 5pm EST Thursday, when the vote closed, passage of the DREAM Act stood in eighth place, making it one of the ten winners. (Marijuana legalization was first.)

Undocumented students campaigned actively online to drum up votes for their cause, as one of them narrates here.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) would give undocumented students brought to the U.S. by their parents conditional legal status and eventual citizenship if they met all of the following requirements:

* they were brought to the United States before they turned 16, are below the age of 30,
* have lived here continuously for five years,
* graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained a GED
* have good moral character with no criminal record and
* attend college or enlist in the military.

The DREAM Act emerged in response to the plight of thousands of immigrant students who, after growing up here, could not continue a normal life after graduating from high school or college because of the manner in which they entered the country — many of them when they were infants.

“Many American students graduate from college and high school each year, and face a roadblock to their dreams: they can’t drive, can’t work legally, can’t further their education, and can’t pay taxes to contribute to the economy just because they were brought to this country illegally by their parents or lost legal status along the way,” said.

The bill was in Congress in 2007. But it failed a Senate vote to defeat a Republican filibuster. On the occasion, The New York Times editorial board commented,

Who could be threatened, after all, by new high school graduates who were brought here by their parents, grew up in America, and yearn to get a college degree or to serve the country in uniform — but are stuck in a paperwork trap that can’t be opened?

But the Senate’s message was like a speech from a prison warden in a bad juvenile-delinquent movie: You’re illegal. You’re going to stay that way. We don’t like your kind., a site created by undocumented students, has plenty of stories of those who would benefit from this bill. Like that of Piash, a Bangladeshi-born student, who says he only learned that he was undocumented during his sophomore year of high school.

“I came home to show my parents that I got a 100 on my driver’s ed class and I wanted to go to DMV to get my learner’s permit,” he writes. “My parents told me that my dad’s asylum case was still pending in court and they didn’t know how long it would take… I was an American in every way except where it really mattered: documents.” (DreamActivist lists dozens of blogs started by other students.)

In addition to this largely symbolic victory, the students’ cause seems to have won one of the most important votes: that of the incoming president, who has expressed his support for the bill in the past. Now, they hope Obama will help make it law.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Last Day! Vote for DREAM Act on!

Have you voted yet? Have you told everyone you know to vote? If not, what are you waiting for? There only a few hours left! Voting ends TODAY at 5pm ET. Vote here. Currently we are in 8th place and only the top ten will be counted, so let's keep DREAM Act on top.

Just a quick reminder to everyone, if you have already voted please log back into your account and make sure your vote has actually registered with the site. Once you are logged in click the DREAM Act idea and the vote box should be red, if the vote box is blue then you have not yet voted.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Exercise Your Right to Act

Time is ticking away to vote at for DREAM Act. Voting ends Jan. 15th! Vote here!


The Obama website has decided to follow the lead of and is now allowing for people to create ideas and also vote / comment on them. An idea for the DREAM Act has already been created, now we just need the votes to get us ranked.

Like the idea, this one also requires you to create an account however it does NOT require you to confirm your account so one less step. Click the above link and you will be prompted to make an account, after doing so click back on the link and vote up (or down. . .). Each vote up is worth 10 points, the top idea currently has 900 votes and so we only need 900 to 1000 to get noticed! Go here to vote on the Obama website (different from!!!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Video: An Unfinished DREAM

Interested in DREAM Act? Want to help pass the DREAM Act? Check out this video, An Unfinished DREAM.

Then after watching it make sure to rate it, comment on it,favorite it and send it around to friends / post on blogs etc. The more attention the better!

Let's get the national spotlight on Obama's promise to pass the DREAM Act.

Also don't forget if you haven't voted already, to vote for the DREAM Act at

Monday, January 5, 2009


(copied from Issues)

If you support the DREAM Act, now is your chance to help make the issue a priority in 2009.

On January 16th, will present its top 10 "ideas for change" to the Obama administration at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The top 10 issues are chosen from's Ideas for Change in America competition, created in response to president-elect Barack Obama's desire to have more American people involved in their government.

In addition to the January 16th presentation, will also launch a national advocacy campaign behind each top 10 idea to help turn issues like the DREAM Act into policy.

Final round voting begins today and ends at 5pm ET on Thursday, January 15. You can vote for the DREAM Act online at (Note: You'll need to do a quick registration if you don't already belong to Once you confirm your e-mail address, you can vote for the DREAM Act. Your vote is confirmed when the vote count button changes to from "Vote Now!" to "Voted.")

The children of undocumented parents should not be punished by denying them a chance at legalization. This path to citizenship isn't a free ride: the DREAM Act requires that these children attend college or enlist in the military and show good moral character. Be the voice for these children. Vote now