Thursday, April 7, 2011

Activists and Lawmakers Pressure Obama for Immigration Reform

Both during his campaign and early on in his election, President Obama promised to work on bringing immigration reform to the country. He stated numerous times that he would champion a comprehensive resolution, and allow the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and allow them to take steps to become legal citizens. In fact, at the NALEO conference in 2008, Obama stated, “[w]e must assert our values and reconcile our principles as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. That is a priority I will pursue from my very first day.”

Unfortunately, Obama has not lived up to his promises. Advocates are finally coming out to pressure Obama to do so. Most recently a campaign entitled “Change Takes Courage” has started. This campaign consists of immigration activists and lawmakers who are challenging Obama through a series of nationwide events. The organizations are specifically asking Obama to “provide relief to parents of citizen children, military veterans, DREAM-eligible youth and immigrants with deep roots in their communities who work and have families here; to curb ICE programs that undermine the public safety of all communities; and increase protection of all workers.” You can learn more about the campaign at their website:

Representative Luis V. Gutierrez of Obama’s home state Illinois has also started a campaign entitled “Campaign for American Children and Families” to pressure Obama. This campaign focuses on U.S. citizen and non-U.S. citizen families who are being split by deportations. Rep. Gutierrez started a 20 plus city tour. Tour stops will mostly be held at large church gatherings and include families, students eligible for the DREAM Act, and others caught up in deportations. The tour began in Rhode Island on April 2nd. To learn more about the tour please visit Rep. Gutierrez’s website at

Although Obama has not released a blueprint for immigration reform, pressure from lawmakers, activists, and the people of this country is a strong step forward to force Obama to carry out his promises.

Friday, April 1, 2011

NY DREAM Act Introduced in State Senate!

After the DREAM Act failed to pass the U.S. Senate, the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC) had vowed to work towards a NY version of the DREAM Act. On March 21, 2011, they prevailed in their struggle. State Senators Bill Perkins (District 30) introduced the New York DREAM Act (S. 4179) and State Senator Dan Squadron (District 25) has co-sponsored the bill.

Although there is no path to citizenship, the NY version of the DREAM Act will provide State benefits to those that meet its requirements. As reported by the NYSYLC, the benefits include access to financial aid for higher education, access to driver’s licenses, work authorization and access to health care. In order to qualify for these benefits, the young person must have arrived to the United States before the age of 16, be under the age of 35, have resided in New York State for at least two years, have obtained a high school diploma or GED equivalent from an American institution and have good moral character.

Governor Cuomo has not publicly stated his opinion regarding the NY DREAM Act. To urge the Governor to publicly state his support for the NY DREAM Act, visit Take one minute to sign the petition and message it to Governor Cuomo.

To get active in the New York State Dream Act Campaign 2011 please visit

Follow us on twitter at ImmigrationNY for instant updates on the NY DREAM Act.