by Justin Valas

For a few families, this was a Thanksgiving to remember with joy. Despite ICE’s continued pursuit of hardworking and talented undocumented youth, DREAM Act-ivists and supporters from around the nation have three great reasons to celebrate this Thanksgiving. About 5 minutes before the press conference we had called in support of Fredd Reyes was set to get under way, a phone call cut through the tense air: Fredd was being released! After a quick briefing to the press and a small celebration, Fredd’s friends and family took off to pick him up. Despite being taken from his North Carolina home to the notorious Stewart Detention Center in Georgia, apparently ICE found it sufficient to get Fredd to Atlanta and let his family take him from there. At least Fredd was released and soon to be home.

Photo by Justin Valas

Fredd’s release was the fulfillment of an amazing hat-trick– in a single day, three DREAM Act-eligible youth were released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s custody! It is thanks to the quick action by so many of you out there that Fredd, Jennifer, and Bernard were able to be reunited with their families for Thanksgiving. The NC DREAM Team would like to echo the thanks that Fredd’s mother had expressed for all of the activists and supporters who made this possible (especially our friends around the country who provided vital assistance, put in a lot of work, and are all-around amazing people- you know who you are). We would also like to give Fredd’s family and friends special recognition- their organizing and hard work was crucial and inspirational.

Fredd may have been released from Stewart and returned to his family, but our work is far from over. This Thanksgiving was definitely a time of joy for these three families, but there are many others for whom this day was not spent in the joyful company of family. For the families of Pedro Guzman and Alisson Hernández Sánchez, a vacant seat served as a reminder of our broken immigration system. You can help us and these families by taking action for Pedro and Alisson and by calling your Senators and Representatives (866-996-5161), urging them to support passage of the DREAM Act as it comes up for a vote in the coming week.