June 2012: Members of Padres & Jóvenes Unidos with youth from the Campaign for the American Dream days before they began their hunger strike.
April 2012: Padres & Jóvenes members rally for the pasage of ASSET - a lower college tuition-rate for undocumented
Colorado State Capitol
2007: Jóvenes Unidos leads a student walk-out
calling for the DREAM Act.
President Obama's policy to grant relief to undocumented youth
represents a historic victory in the struggle for immigrant rights. Hundreds of thousands of young people will no longer be forced to live in fear - and will be able to begin to claim their rightful place in society. The order indicates that undocumented youth will be able to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation if they meet the following criteria:
-were brought to the US before the age of 16 and are currently younger than thirty
-have resided in the US for at least 5 years
-have no criminal history
-are in school or have a high school diploma or GED
The Obama administration's decision demonstrates the power of community organizing and the power of building the political will to demand and claim liberation. For over two decades, this has been a crucial struggle for Padres & Jóvenes Unidos. We have
united to fight for the passage of the DREAM Act. We have organized marches, walked alongside sister organizations, and held DREAM University graduations. We have called, texted, and emailed our legislators countless cries for compassion, countless demands for equality - and we have shaken our heads and wiped our eyes when the final votes have fallen short.
Yet today is a day of celebration and hope. We must take a moment to rejoice, to celebrate this victory for the many undocumented youth who can now exercise their education and live without fear. This is another step forward for undocumented youth in their quest to claim their deserved and equal place in our society. And while we must continue to pressure the president and hold him accountable for the policy's full implementation, we know that our struggle does not lie solely in legislative votes or the issuance of executive policy. It's greater than this.
Our ultimate struggle is for dignity, equality and mutual respect.
And while we celebrate, we must hold close those who cannot - those who still suffer under the terror of our broken immigration system and who are still denied the most basic human rights. As a community, we must ensure that today's policy will stand only as a minor victory in the greater struggle for full equality and self-governance. We must ensure that the great arc of history reveals a struggle that was united for equality and equal rights for all people of color and all oppressed peoples.