23 March 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Some thoughts about the 'DREAM Act' movement

Since I have to write about this anyway, I might as well start blogging my thoughts out for now.

I joined the DREAM Act movement pretty late, relatively speaking. I am the type of person who really does not believe in politics and ‘changing things’ through legislation. But when I heard how close we had come to passing the DREAM Act, I was pleasantly surprised and disappointed at the same time. I already knew of some people in my life who banked all their hopes on DREAM, but I did not really see a big movement towards passing it, mainly due to the fact that the beneficiaries of DREAM have to maintain some sort of invisibility in order to protect themselves. However, there were local student groups scattered in the Bay Area that did organize and rally for the California DREAM Act.

I thought online organizing for the DREAM Act would be the most viable option. So I logged in around October 2007 and found some sites to my pleasant surprise. COSA (which is no longer) and the DREAM Act Portal, which is still going strong. It was great to talk to a diverse group of students who showed commitment, solidarity, hopes and aspirations towards DREAM. Everyone seemed to have a different background story–some came here on their own, some were brought illegally by their parents while some entered legally but were later rendered illegal during the immigration process, and one or two were spouses or significant others of these students–and yet all were tied together via DREAM. We can actually call them DREAMers–people originally with different nationalities that have crossed racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and geographical divides literally and come together for a common goal–to be recognized as legitimate Americans belonging to this country with a right to legally stay, work and live in America.

It is a small online community, but growing, especially through the blogosphere. Many DREAMERs and DREAM supporters have started their own blogs to document their lives and their thoughts and opinions about the DREAM Act, and relevant immigration legislation. See the list here:

There is a drive to get more politically active with the creation of DreamActivist.org as well as disseminate more positive views on DREAM while countering the opposition.

I cannot make predictions about the future of the movement. I know that DREAMers need more people visibly advocating for them. I also feel that ex-DREAMers or the more privileged DREAMers should step up to the plate instead of getting their papers and moving on with their lives. I have forged friendships with some due to shared experiences, and I hope these friendships last no matter what the outcome of the movement.

If you have any further thoughts or insight, feel free to add.

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