by Dennis Chin, guest blogger
Yesterday, on the anniversary of landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education, five leaders of the immigrant student movement staged a sit-in at Senator John McCain’s office in Tucson, Arizona. Mohammad, Yahaira, Lizbeth and Raul, all of whom are undocumented, were arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges. One of the leaders, Tania was not arrested and is serving as a spokesperson for the four that were arrested.
The New York Times reports that this “was the first time students have directly risked deportation in an effort to prompt Congress to take up a bill that would benefit illegal immigrant youths.”
Lizbeth, from Chicago and one of the arrested youth, states:
“There are already ten other states across the country considering immigration legislation similar to Arizona’s: legislation that is anti-family, anti-democratic, and anti-freedom. Police states and enforcement are quickly becoming the standard, and we are running out of time. We are going to pass the DREAM Act because it is based on freedom and equality.”
That’s right! Immigrant youth are turning up the heat for immigration reform, specifically the DREAM Act.
Think about it. These four leaders are risking deportation in the hope that this action will make a significant contribution to the fight for immigrant rights. In fact, many undocumented youth are risking everything by “coming out” with their undocumented status.
Let’s take a moment to commend their bravery. Their risk is propelling our movement for justice forward.