by Justin Valas

Every year, 65,000 undocumented students graduate from a high school in the United States. Every year, our immigration system says to 65,000 youth “no matter your contributions, no matter your hard work, no matter your dedication to the American Dream, no matter the skills you bring to the enterprise that is the United States of America- quietly accept your station, resign yourself from realizing your potential.”

That is an injustice no matter your particular political persuasion.

Photo by Bri Connors

Each year North Carolina, and the United States, deprives itself of the valuable skills and contributions of immigrant youth because of a broken and ineffective immigration system. That’s why we’re struggling for the DREAM Act, that’s why we’re fighting the separation of families, that’s why we rallied in front of Senator Hagan’s Raleigh office to demand that she stop silencing our success. Each day that she holds back from supporting the DREAM Act and its countless benefits to this country, she is letting the dreams of hard working and inspiring youth die. She is forcing us to miss out on a better North Carolina for us all.Photo by Justin Valas

These youth are American in all but paper and call the United States home. They dream of being able to be fully recognized as members in their communities. They are hard-workers, valedictorians, aspiring teachers, engineers, soldiers, and lawyers.

Photo by B. Connors

This was the third Triangle-area DREAM Action on Thursday. Earlier in the day, some of our wonderful allies- students at Duke and UNC- organized die-in‘s for the DREAM Act on their campuses. In all, dozens of student allies died for the DREAMs of their peers, raising awareness, creating questions, and connecting passersby with the tools to contact Senator Hagan and urge her to support the DREAM Act. Later in the evening, nearly 50 of us marched through the streets of Raleigh, silently showing our strength and resilience.

Photo by B. Connors
Actions speak louder than words. We did not need to say anything, we decided that we could not make a difference from the sideline- as Senator Hagan is known to say. We refuse to waste our talents. We refuse to remain silent. If we are willing to take risks, to take action for what is right, we are calling on Senator Hagan to do the same. Senator, come off the sidelines, join us in our struggle for justice, a better North Carolina, and a better United States- support the DREAM Act!

Our efforts are even more effective when the Senator hears from our supporters. So please, take 2 minutes (or more, if you’re so inclined) to call Senator Kay Hagan at least once a day and tell her to support a stronger, more vibrant North Carolina- Tell her to support the DREAM Act (S.729). 1-888-254-5087

Photo by J. Valas