I am constantly amazed and inspired by the courage of the DREAM Activists, and today’s Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah is in honor of all of those brilliant and beautiful young people who refuse to be made invisible.
Yesterday, three DREAMers pictured above, Janet Perez, Rosario Quiroz and Sara Martinez, staged a peaceful protest in front of NY Governer Andrew Cuomo’s office to encourage him to stand up for undocumented youth by adding the NY Dream Act into the State Budget. The NY Dream Act would allow these three women and thousands of other young people to get state financial aid to achieve their educational goals.
Rosario, Sara and Janet are my heros. They’ve taken a huge risk in order to raise the voices of undocumented youth and to assert that everyone should have access to education, regardless of immigration status. Education is about justice but it’s also about making this country stronger and safer.
Right now, these young women are sitting in a city jail, but any second immigration officials could can get involved. We owe it to honor their courage and hear their own words, from the NY State Youth Leadership Council’s site (where you can watch video accounts as well):
I was brought, from Mexico, at 11 months and have been raised here ever since. When you look at me or speak to me, you wouldn’t know I’m undocumented. I’ve felt loneliness, depression, anxiety of what’s to come, disillusioned, loss of hope. I’ve faced challenges and difficult circumstances because of my status. I attend Lehman College and I’m currently a Junior pursuing a double major in Computer Graphics & Imaging and Political Science. It’s not an easy journey. Getting arrested on behalf of my community, undocumented youth, and of course, my dreams, means that I will be sending out a strong message: Si se puede! We want the NY Dream Act Now! – Janet Perez, Lehman College, 20 years old (Computer Science and Political Science)
I believe everyone should have a legitimate opportunity at achieving their dreams, so I fully support the increased accessibility to higher education that the New York DREAM Act would grant to undocumented youth. The undocumented community has shown tremendous courage in the face of augmenting obstacles and despite broken promises that constantly fail to recognize our humanity, and that cannot continue to be accepted. I’d like to support and be part of the courage I’ve seen from my community these last few years. – Rosario Quiroz, Columbia University, Class of 2011, 23 years old (Sociology and Sustainable Development)
I want to show the urgency that Undocumented Youth face every day when they are unable to follow their dreams of obtaining a higher education. As an Undocumented student who attends college, I know first hand the challenges we face when trying to pay for college. After finishing high school I had to work for 2 years in order to pay for my first years of college. Many, never get the chance to do so and the New York Dream Act would change that. Cuomo’s silence is unacceptable and we need him to stand with us. I’m currently pursuing a degree in Biology and I hope to one day work in the Medical field. – Sara Martinez, College of Staten Island, 22 years old (Biology)
Here’s to these women, to their safe return back to their communities and homes, and to the many young people like them who are living in the shadow. We see you.