UH-Downtown students reveal their undocumented status in support of DREAM Act legislation
The DREAM Act — legislation by which undocumented underage immigrants could receive a fast track to U.S. citizenship by enrolling in college or joining the military — has been in congressional gridlock for more than a decade.
Much of the young immigrant community affected by this standstill has decided that enough is enough. The United We Dream Campaign, which aims to create further awareness and encourage legislators to come to an agreement, declared Thursday a national day of action.
During a local Right to Dream rally on the University of Houston-Downtown campaus organized by FIEL, four UH-D students publicly stepped forward as undocumented citizens.
"I am undocumented and unafraid, and I have the right to dream."
Isaac Valdez, a junior in mathematics, went first. In Spanish, he recounted the successes he has faced since enrolling as a student at UH-D and the opportunities that he has missed because of his undocumented status.
"My name is Isaac," Valdez said. "I am undocumented and unafraid, and I have the right to dream."
That declaration was echoed by three other students, who revealed similar stories and similar barriers to acceptance.
Supporters wearing graduation caps and carrying signs applauded each speaker. Included among the crowd was university president Bill Flores and state representative Armando Walle, as well as representatives from Mi Familia Vota, who registered students to vote in the upcoming presidential election.