Immigrant dreams and the DREAM Act

Today’s guest blogger is Marco, a DREAMer. He serves as a peer minister for Canterbury-Kenyon and enjoys prayer, poetry, and … Continued

Today’s guest blogger is Marco, a DREAMer. He serves as a peer minister for Canterbury-Kenyon and enjoys prayer, poetry, and painting.

To become an undocumented immigrant requires very little, yet is a result of tremendous social, economic, political and environmental forces. I offer my story as an example.

My family had been farmers for millennia – ever since first setting foot on this continent. We had settled in a small village (San Miguel Ahuhuititlan) located in the rugged southern state of Oaxaca where the Sierra Madre Sur and Sierra Madre Oaxaca – the unconnected southern spine of the Rocky Mountains – unite.

This place, until recently, spoke mainly mixteco, the native dialect, and possessed little in roads, potable water and houses with more than a dirt floor, save for the Catholic Church at the center of town. The church and the villager’s last names – for only those that fled to higher uplands were able to keep their native family names – are vestiges of Spanish colonization. My ancestors remained in that village through the fall of the Spanish Empire and Mexico’s first hundred years as a sovereign nation.

I was born on a cold January day, on the dirt floor of my grandmother’s house, where only Nana was present to aid my mother in the delivery. Lacking any soap with which to wash me, my mother laid me on her lap to avoid the ants which would’ve been attracted to our blood.

Two years later my parents would leave for America, leaving me and my older sister behind to be under the care of our maternal grandparents. In an act of daring faith and unrequited love, they decided to leave behind all that was dear to them for the future of their family. A year of separation proved too much however, and eventually my parents thought it best to have their family united in America with some hope of an education and decent living rather than in Mexico where life was increasingly grim.

My story is not unique. Stories of economic displacement, political asylum, and spiritual refuge are particular to thousands of brave souls who have made the difficult, yet hopeful journey to America.

The youngest of these sojourners are now organizing around, and risking their lives for the DREAM Act – a proposal that would provide temporary legal residence to undocumented youth who came to this nation as minors, have resided in America for five continuous years, possess good moral character with no criminal record and have graduated from high school or the equivalent. Having met these initial requirements, recipients would have ten years of conditional legal status to complete two years of military service or college to earn permanent legal residence.

Nearly a decade has passed since the bipartisan bill was initially proposed, without much success. Yet, we DREAMers continue to believe in what one of the greatest Americans, Martin Luther King Jr. said during another time of inequality: the arc of the moral universe is long but bends towards justice.

My friends and I recently held an interfaith fast at Kenyon College to raise awareness in solidarity with the ongoing three week hunger strike begun by Texas Dream Activists. And now, this week the DREAM Act will be voted on. We believe the time has come for us to be out of the shadows.

Millions of Christians this advent season remember the sacred, but difficult immigrant journey of Mary, and Joseph; and the hope that Jesus continues to bring to the thousands of migrants, like my family, who cross the Sonoran Desert into the United States every year with nothing but ganas, humility and dreams in the hope of building new lives, and contributing to this wonderful country.

In passing the Dream Act, we have the opportunity to live out a shared value in all religious traditions – welcoming the stranger, so that the DREAMers can become welcomed leaders this country will be proud to have embraced.

The content of this blog reflects the views of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of either Eboo Patel or the Interfaith Youth Core.

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  • deemontgomery1

    Marco, if your family has “little in roads, potable water and houses with more than a dirt floor,” how come? In the millennia, they could not get a road built, the water source cleaned up, or a wood floor laid? What you DREAM of usurping here did not fall like manna from above, someone built it. Why don’t you return and do what your parents did not: build something on your own land?

  • momasan1

    Revvi Hirschf & CO.May “ECL{AT” (aka “IT”) shine xtra-Photons on & Bless the great “SABRA-STATE” & or The “3rd-TEMPLE” of Today’s SECULAR-[Made]-ISRAEL; So, To He{{{{ll With the “JEW-STATE” Of Israel.Note: Best to kick-out All The European {IMPORTS] HEREDI/TEDI, ORTHODO, HASSIDIM/HASSIDIK, living in Israel Today into IRAN! Note: There are many of Them (90%) Who are ANTi-SABARA STATE of the modern State of ISRAEL/ERETZ! DEPORT THEM under a “Sedition” act or National Security Act!Or Send Them Back to POLAND, HUNGARY, RUSSIA or any Arab Country.PS: That Goes For The “LUBAVITCH”ER TOO! America Should do the Same Next! Anybody?Mr. Big-Mouth ‘OVADIA,’ “JOSEF/YOSIF/YOSEF” the “King Of The Jew”s [aka God Players] and his alis-Yidishkites” followers should have been forced via Bayonets or Pushed or Systematically Dropped Into his-God/Made Inferno//forest “FIRE!” If i[WE] had me way i would have nailed him to a wooden Megan/Star-David or some tree and watched him burn to death eating a chocolate Covered Matza! And Then Lick me fingers when he stopped Screaming. Maybe Hitler was somewhat Right aye?The Smell of him & Co, Burning would have made our day! Send Them All To Germany. Pay Fair-Market value for their Property; except if it’s on Stolen-Land and Kick-Them All Out; Kids Too; NO EXCEPTIONS! This is how it should be done, Why Suffer?It is anti “GOY” [aka Kafir] Bigots like him & Co., who caused the Fury & Provoked Adolf Hitler to Annihilate THEM [Heredi/Tedi/HASSIDIM], but also caused the Wrongful Death of MY-FAMILY (47 People) None-Heredi, None Hasidim, None Orthodox to Perish too (Because of their “Gods Chosen-People Sindrome & their Goys being 2nd Rate Humans [Kafirs, Out Caste’s etc..]..Them/They PRE-Apocalyptarians; Ju Heredi, Tadi, Orthodoxs, went around (Pre-www2) Europe, boasting in Germany et al (Via their new “Jewish-Yeddish” (A Language borrowed from German)Print, Papers etc.) that “GOD CREATED THE EARTH FOR JEWS” (Not For GOYS who are enjoying Life Here because of Them Jews; aka GODS Chosen People: INSTEAD Of [US; Apocalyptarians] whom are proudly “NATURALLY SELECTioned” zero gods Chosen, as if Naturally Selected! OYEvay!).They are IMPORTED “Religio-Mafioso”s “J-E-W_s? Living Off The Necks of US (real-SECULARS) None-JU-Religious.Note: i[WE] am a SABRA, and Now an “EX-JU”!Our 1st Father, of OUR “3rd-TEMPLE”, BEN GURION & Others {pbuh et al} was right about “JEW” or Being “JEWiSH”: That Anyone calling him/Her self “JEWISH” is a MISHUGA [CRAZY; Dementia’d]. FACT: Me Father {pbuh etal} was in the Haganna and his friends from Palmuch, and Argun, {Pre-1948 Israels Fighters-of-Freedeom} Warned US of HEREDI Will suck-blood &Kill or Steal our SECULAR-Israel, Not Their Israel” [Similarly said]. Now Who’s Right?Vote: DEATH to all Theocracy & all Monarchy on OUR S.pace-S.hip Earth, not Theirs! NO EXCEPTIONS. It is time S-A-B-R-A-ites. Lets Kick Out OVADIA & CO. NOW, Not Morrow!

  • usapdx

    One must come into this country correctly or that person no matter who is ILLEGAL and MUST leave. The root of the ILLEGAL invation of our country are the ILLEGAL’s employeers and renters who are in violation of federal law. A immigrat is a person that becomes a citizen of a new country then is a immigrat of that person’s old country. The 14th Amendment was written only for the people that where forced into the U.S.A. against their will and for their children as well as the citizens children only. It was NOT written for any person to sneak into the U.S.A. or their children or to come to the U.S.A. on a trip and produce a child here to claim U.S.A. citizenship for that child. Please read the Dred Scott case of 1857. To all our immigrates, you are welcome and I hope you have a happy and full life in your new country, the U.S.A.. Thoes groups that speakout on this politcal matter should file your group’s income with the I.R.S. and pay your tax for total freedom of speech which is limited when your group files TAX EXAMPT.

  • ThomasBaum

    usapdxYou wrote, “The 14th Amendment was written only for the people that where forced into the U.S.A. against their will and for their children as well as the citizens children only. It was NOT written for any person to sneak into the U.S.A. or their children or to come to the U.S.A. on a trip and produce a child here to claim U.S.A. citizenship for that child.Amendment XIVSection 1I am not a lawyer nor a constitutional scholar and I do not know what “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof” might mean but it seems as if you are interpreting things to come to the conclusion that you want rather than what something actually says.You then wrote, “Please read the Dred Scott case of 1857.”I have never read the “Dred Scott case of 1857” but if it would have a bearing on what you say and if the date of Amendment XIV (July 9, 1868) is correct then it has been superseded.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.