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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

As Talented Immigrant, Latino Youth Get Deported, President Obama is Expected to Give another Empty Speech on Immigration

May 10, 2011

For Immediate Release
For May 10, 2011
Contact: Natali Fani-González, natali@mateagroup.com 202.787.1813


“Today President Barack Obama will speak about the urgent need to fix the broken immigration system while addressing our nation’s economic and security needs. Yet besides another speech calling on Congress to take legislative action, we sadly expect President Obama to fail to respond to the demands from a growing chorus of grassroots immigrant rights advocates, including DREAM Act students, Latino elected officials, and legislators from his own party to solve our crisis.

“Exactly a year ago, four immigrant students - known as the Trail of DREAMs - walked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington, DC and delivered more than 40,000 petition signatures - gathered in the course of their four month journey - to Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. In delivering the petitions, the immigrant students expressed the urgent need for President Obama to issue an executive order that would immediately stop the detentions and deportations of undocumented youth like themselves. During their meeting with Ms. Jarrett, the students emphasized they have contributed to the only nation they know as home and would like to continue doing so. In order to do so, they needed to come out of the shadows and stop being treated as second-class citizens by the government.

“The students also stated their support for a letter sent to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano by Republican Senator Richard Lugar and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin in which they asked President to exercise his executive authority to grant administrative relief to students eligible for the DREAM Act. Last month, 22 Democratic Senators sent a letter to the President asking for the same administrative relief. Just two weeks ago, the American Immigration Council released a memo co-authored by two former INS general counsels that outlined the President’s authority to grant administrative relief.

“But since these brave students confronted our nation’s leaders to solve this national crisis, all we have heard from President Obama are empty speeches. Today in El Paso, Texas we expect no different.

“The President has the power to make sure our youth don't have to worry about deportation. He has the power to issue an Executive Order that would stop the deportation of DREAMers until we get critical legislation passed. If President Obama is committed about solving our immigration crisis, hence protecting our nation’s economy and security, then that's exactly what he should do.

“Presente.org - a national online advocacy group that promotes the political empowerment of Latinos, powered Trail of DREAMs during their journey and hosted their petition drive calling to end deportations of students. Since the delivery of the forty thousand petitions to the White House, Presente.org and the Trail of DREAM have continued to collect thousands of petitions from across the nation to make our President Obama accountable.”


For interview requests, please contact 202.787.1813