DREAM Now Letters to Barack Obama: Carlos A Roa, Jr.

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Originally posted on Citizen Orange.

The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Carlos and I’m a 23 year old undocumented immigrant from Caracas, Venezuela.  I want to legalize my immigration status in this country through the passage of DREAM Act this year.  For too long have I lived in the U.S. without papers.  It has been over 20 years, now.  I want to legalize my immigration status in order to fulfill my dreams of becoming a young professional in architecture.

There are obstacles in my daily life that make it extraordinarily difficult to pursue a career in architecture.  Fortunately, because of my determination to continue my studies after graduating high school in 2005, I’m currently a student in Miami Dade College.  It has not been without great difficulty.  For many years it felt as if all the potential I developed in high school was for nothing.

I am the perfect example of other students in similar situations whose voices have been silenced by the fact that we are not truly accounted for.  We are afraid of speaking up because doing so might affect our immigration status in this country and possibly even lead to deportation.  I myself felt this way for several years, but after dealing with my status for so long, I now consider it a duty to speak up for myself and for other youth in my shoes.

I remember that dark and cold feeling of shame, fear and hopelessness.
After the death of my mother–the person I was closest to in my life–I’d constantly ask myself what is to come of me?  Where is my life going?  If it wasn’t for her strength and desire to see me succeed, I would not have devoted myself to this cause in her memory.  If it wasn’t for her love–her incredible affection transcending my existence–I would not have been able to conquer the fear of being undocumented. My love of humanity has manifested itself through the fight for immigrant rights.
That’s why I was one of four undocumented youth that participated on a 1500 mile walk from Miami, FL to Washington D.C. known as the Trail of Dreams.

I encourage you to present this letter U.S. Congress, Mr. President, so that the voice of one undocumented immigrant echoes the voice of millions.  I hope that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus can have the vision to push for the DREAM Act this year.  It would be be a dream for so many families, fathers and mothers just like mine, to see their children on the path towards legalization and professional degrees.

I consider it a colossal loss for society that young Americans, such as myself, find it extremely difficult to continue our studies after high school graduation.  We are unable to work legally, unable to join the Armed Forces, unable to legally obtain a driving license, and unable to apply or receive most scholarships. Economically supporting our families under these circumstances is impossible.

Our legalization would greatly contribute to our communities and make this country a better place.  As young professionals we would open businesses, create jobs, pay taxes, and play a much stronger role rehabilitating the economy, just like any other hardworking U.S. citizen.

Please give us the opportunity to contribute to the only country we know as our home, Mr. President.  Please step up and help us pass the DREAM Act, this year. 

Carlos A. Roa, Jr.

The “DREAM Now” letter series is inspired by a similar campaign started by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  The letters are produced by Kyle de Beausset at Citizen Orange with the assistance of America’s Voice.  Every Monday and Wednesday DREAM-eligible youth will publish letters to the President, and each Friday there will be a DREAM Now recap. 

Approximately 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from U.S. high schools every year, who could benefit from passage of the DREAM Act.  Many undocumented youth are brought to the United States before they can even remember much else, and some don’t even realize their undocumented status until they have to get a driver’s license, want to join the military, or apply to college.  DREAM Act youth are American in every sense of the word — except on paper.  It’s been nearly a decade since the DREAM Act was first introduced.  If Congress does not act now, another generation of promising young graduates will be relegated to the shadows and blocked from giving back fully to our great nation.

This is what you can do right now to pass the DREAM Act:

  1. Sign the DREAM Act Petition
  2. Join the DREAM Act Facebook Cause
  3. Send a fax in support of the DREAM Act
  4. Call your Senator and ask them to pass the DREAM Act now.
  5. Email kyle at citizenorange dot com to get more involved

Below is a list of previous entries in the DREAM Now Series:

Mohammad Abdollahi (19 July 2010)
Yahaira Carrillo (21 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – Tell Harry Reid You Want the DREAM Act Now (23 July 2010)
Wendy (26 July 2010)
Matias Ramos (28 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – The CHC Has To Stand With Migrant Youth Not Against Us (30 July 2010)
Tania Unzueta (2 August 2010)
Marlen Moreno (4 August 2010)
Weekly Recap – The Ghost of Virgil Goode Possesses the Republican Party (9 August 2010)
David Cho (9 August 2010)
Ivan Nikolov (11 August 2010)
Yves Gomes (16 August 2010)
Selvin Arevalo (18 August 2010)
Weekly Recap – Latino, LGBT, Migrant Youth, and Progressive Bloggers Lead For the DREAM Act (20 August 2010)