Who is a dreamer? You may think that is someone who only thinks about rosy things. A dreamer is associated with not working, only letting life go by in fantasies. That is certainly not true about the Dreamers.
The Dreamers are young people who came here when they were very young and have been raised and educated in United States. They have had the privilege to learn alongside many other children that there are principles of justice and equality for all. Dreamers were brought up with the idea that this was the land of opportunity; where you have to do your share, contribute to the well being of all and little by little through much effort you accomplish your goals.
Dreamers under the current circumstances have an additional tag that sets them aside from others. They are ‘undocumented’. According to the law, because they were brought into the country without documents, this places them in a different category of human beings and it makes them prone to suffer discrimination, injustice and sometimes persecution.
Never mind that they are ready to contribute to society, or ready to further their education in order to do so. The label will not allow them to fulfill their dreams and goals.
The Dreamers are very much grounded in reality and because they have learned their lessons, they are ready to come out of the shadows and organize to lead us on a journey of learning and changing.
History has shown that in many places and eras there has been a group of people that is excluded from society, like the blacks during slavery, the Jews during the Nazi rule, the Indians during the conquest and so on.
Those who make the rules decide who belongs and who does not to a society, and in doing so dehumanizes the ‘other’. Those who were silent accomplices of unjust actions were just as guilty of the results. Were they afraid? Ignorant? Did they choose to look the other way until ‘someone’ would fix it?
Young people throughout the country have started to organize and they need the support of all those who believe in a better future for all.
Some groups or individuals have helped in the past one or several students in a very quiet way. We need to be silent no more. The Dreamers need the open support of all those who believe in justice and equality. We cannot continue to categorize people into documented and undocumented. As human beings we have to find solutions for everyone and not just one portion of the population.
I have found these testimonials that show us some of their thoughts.
Alicia: “My problems will not be solved by simply going back to where I came from but by staying and fighting for what is right, for justice for our community. It is the undocumented youth that have made me want to fight, but not for me, for us because I, like them, am undocumented and we will together learn to be unafraid and unashamed!”
Angelica was accepted into a Master’s of Social Work program at DePaul University, but is unable to attend because of financial obstacles. She is choosing to drop her fear because her home no longer feels safe. After her brother’s arrest for driving with his high beams on, she knows that she could be next. She refuses to let herself, her family, and her community be branded as criminals, and asks that they join her in fighting back.
These are a couple of voices among thousands that are ready to tell their stories and take a stand.
Their voices have to resonate in every parent, teacher, student and member of society. How can each one of us also take a stand on the matter?
In this issue you will find an opportunity to join the Dreamers locally.
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