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Old 11-10-2009, 05:51 PM is offline
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Default DREAM Act Returns

I've become familiar with this Matias Ramos mentioned in this article. He's out of the UCLA Labor Center and has ties to several of our IDEPSCA (Machado Lake Day Labor Site) friends.


WASHINGTON As her fellow college graduates busy themselves with spamming every available e-mail inbox with resumes, 25-year-old Lizbeth Mateo keeps to the same Los Angeles coffee shop she's worked in for the past five years.

A native of Mexico and an undocumented immigrant who's lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, Mateo earned a bachelor's degree last year from California State University, Northridge. Though she said she'd like to find a job that would allow her to give back in some way to the low-income community where she grew up, Mateo's immigration status has put a cap on what she's able to achieve.

One could say that she's still waiting for a dream. "You're not allowed to work where you grow up or have a job that's related to your field," Mateo said of her undocumented status.

It's been just more than two years since the last version of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act failed to pass the Senate. Reintroduced in both chambers of Congress in March, the most recent incarnation of the DREAM Act would provide a path toward legal U.S. residency for students such as Mateo.

To mobilize supporters, Mateo and others in her situation have taken to the Internet's social media to spread their message. Using the Web to invite other supporters into the fray, undocumented bloggers and Tweeters across the country have formed a coalition called United We Dream. The group rolled out the countrywide "Back to School DREAM Act Day of Action" demonstration in September. Floridians hosted 13 demonstrations across the state in September, half of them in Miami.

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, updates a "Corruption Chronicles" blog that tracks the progress of undocumented immigrants through higher education. He said that the DREAM Act threatened to draw even more immigrants to the United States illegally than immigrations bills that offered amnesty.

Matias Ramos, 23, a recent University of California, Los Angeles, graduate and Washington resident, said that undocumented people of his generation were becoming less afraid to speak out against what they saw as injustice. On the Web, as he is in person, Ramos is an unafraid activist, maintaining a blog on the topic and reaching out to his Twitter following to spread news.

Ramos and others hope that policy work on the DREAM Act will begin in earnest next year, either as part of more comprehensive immigration revisions or as a standalone bill.

"I think a lot of us are coming together and say enough is enough," said Ramos, who's a native of Argentina. "We're ready to lead this debate and say, 'This is what the undocumented population is about and what it's not.' "

Undocumented and born abroad, Mateo and Ramos defeated steep odds for their degrees. As a group, Latinos historically trail their classmates of other races, according to Pew Hispanic Center data, and being foreign-born widens the gap.

Though not necessarily undocumented, only 29 percent of young, foreign-born Latinos interviewed in Pew's 2009 National Survey of Latinos planned to pursue bachelor's degrees. That's compared with 60 percent of those who are native-born. After age 18, only one-fifth of foreign-born young adults surveyed remained enrolled in school, representing a presence that's half that of native-born enrollees.

Cinthya Alvares, an undocumented 22-year-old, hasn't been able to find time to get her GED after nearly a decade in the U.S. Smuggled with her parents by human traffickers from Honduras when she was a teen, Alvares is making her third attempt at earning a GED since she dropped out of high school at 17. She said she saw no way out of her two jobs, one at a cleaning service and the other at a restaurant.

Conservative groups such as Judicial Watch protest the progress of undocumented immigrants throughout the higher education system.

"There are people who are waiting to get into this country because they've patiently abided the law," Fitton said, "and those who cheat get these proposed benefits. Why would someone who is not a citizen be able to get resources that might otherwise be devoted to helping citizens?"

Qalim Cromer thinks there should be a better path. Cromer teaches a GED class at the Latin American Youth Center in Washington and works with first-generation and undocumented students.

He calls his work "plugging the dam," not fixing the problem of helping the undocumented access higher education but biding time until immigration legislation proceeds.

Unlike Ramos or Mateo, Alvares sees no path to college. If she thinks too long about her limitations, she panics. She doesn't dream; instead, she tells of the deportation nightmares that plague her.

"What if this is all I can do?" she asks Cromer in perfect English. "This is the max I can move on without papers."
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:00 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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As many of you know I live among the 'victims' as they prefer to regard themselves. And they want to give everyone the impression they are soooooo pooooooor and just struggling to make it. But I have been in so many of their homes and seen first hand exactly what they spend their money on and exactly how so many of them live. MANY, NOT JUST A FEW, BUT MANY, are living quite well and ALWAYS HAVE THE MONEY FOR BEER. And I'm not just saying a twelve ounce can a day, we're talking an 18 pack at a minimum. They spend about $400 to $500 a month on beer, and that's being conservative. They aren't eating simply rice and beans, they're eating shrimp, steak and not cheap cuts. We can thank our food stamp program for that feast. They have late model trucks, vans and cars which are huge gas guzzlers, but they manage to drive them. They have big flat screen tvs. They get discounts on their utilities of at least 20%,free appliances and home improvements. These along with so many more 'entitlements' leaves them extra money to plan those parties they consider entitlements. Have you ever seen the parties they give? I have. And from the 2 yr old who they rent the jummer for, to the quienceanera which announces her time to start making babies, there are huge amounts of money spent on beer and food. These parties are not rare occasions, they happen almost with regularity. Go to any park on a given day in So Cal and you'll see exactly what I'm speaking of. YETthey cry they can't afford to go to school, or they can't afford to take the time to go to school. Then they complain that after sneaking into this country that they aren't given enough financial aid.. Do they ever consider asking Mexico or their home country for help in any way? Of course not. And after sucking us for at least 13 years of free education they then feel entitled to receive more. And some, even after receiving a degree they complain that their needs are still not being met. Why don't they take that education that they stole from our citizens and go back to their home country and put it to good use? No they would rather stay here and see how much more they can suck up and claim victim for not receiving enough. And why do they think they're entitled to all this? It is because our schools are teaching them that they are. And until we realize that we are teaching our own demise we will continue down this path of third world entitlement and eventually become what we thought we were helping eliminate. Remember, no good deed goes unpunished.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:46 AM
Kathy63 Kathy63 is offline
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These victims of injustice are all adults, have lived in this country supposedly for their entire lives and it never occurred to them to become citizens. Not once. They LIKE being here illegally making demands on the system and wear their criminal status like a badge of honor.
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