Students Urge Passage of DREAM Act, Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–September 23, 2009.  Today thousands of immigrant students held over 120 events in 28 states to support legislation that would allow talented DREAM students who view this country as their own to attend college, serve their nation, and earn a path to U.S. citizenship. In support of the National Back to School DREAM Act Day of Action–and the continued struggle by DREAM students like Jorge-Alonso Chehade who are fighting deportation from the only country they know–SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina issued the following statement:

“Few situations shine a more somber light on the failures of our broken immigration system than the dead ends and cruel deportations faced by high-achieving DREAM students.

“These brave valedictorians, honor students, and future leaders embody the American Dream, wanting nothing more than to serve the country they’ve grown up in and build a stronger America. But after years of inaction on comprehensive immigration reform, these talented students struggle to flourish in the only country they know while living in constant fear of removal to a foreign land. Everyday another courageous DREAM student falls through the cracks.

“Tomorrow, it will be Jorge-Alonso Chehade, a business school graduate in Seattle, Washington who is being deported to Peru–a country that has become a distant memory. This young man, who has won countless awards for academic excellence and athletic prowess in high school and in college, represents our nation’s future promise. Yet as a result of Congressional inaction, tomorrow we will lose Jorge-Alonso and he will join a growing list of victims of an outdated immigration system that is failing America.

“America can do better. America must do better.

“Americans are fair, just, and kind. Together, when we unite our strength to defend our shared values–opening rather than shutting the doors of opportunity–we can achieve anything. It’s time to open the doors of opportunity, pass the DREAM Act and pass comprehensive immigration reform that honors our values, strengthens our economy, supports working families, and restores the rule of law for the long-term.”

The DREAM Act, introduced into the House and Senate on March 26, would correct a flaw in our immigration laws that provide no path to legal status for young people who were brought to the U.S. years ago as undocumented immigrant children through no fault of their won. For high school graduates who entered before 2004 at the age of 15 or younger and who continue on to college or military service, the DREAM Act would provide a pathway to legal residency.

To take action to stop Jorge-Alonso Chehade’s deportation tomorrow, go to: