Adventures of a Forced Migrant Contact Me
I am not referring to the Priyanka Chopra starrer where she makes a new Guinness World Record for the number of characters she plays in the movie.
But the movie certainly brings up some unanswered questions for me.
Earlier this year, I met with a Hindu astrologer priest at the insistence of my mother. I usually don’t participate in such things, but I thought I would just for my amusement. He had good things to say about me and my career but came with 3 main warnings:
1. Don’t network and associate with other people too much. You are starting to do this right now and it’s actually not good for you.
2. No one can really harm you, only you have the ability to harm yourself.
3. Someone close to you will betray you.
I didn’t listen to any warnings then. Now that hindsight is 20/20, I can see how these statements ring true for the past 6 months. I am not sure how I got to this point and I don’t know where to go from here but to just retreat from my associations and disappear into other worlds. It’s an ongoing project.
So if you get axed from my online networks, don’t take it personally. I am simply doing house-keeping.
Post New York-Chicago, I am in a transition phase and so this is a disclosure of priorities.
Some very amazing people work @ the best immigration organization in the United States – dreamactivist.org – so we are all working on transitioning as well into a body that works better, and includes the energy and talents of more people rather than overburdening 1-2 people. That can never be good. I will be taking several steps back to focus on other things but still be involved in whatever capacity the organization needs me. I did a fantastic job on it–I could have done far better in the past 5 months–but I will save that for my next project. I don’t doubt that something good will come out of this. The bottom-line is that I want to see the emergence of more fearless young(er) leaders running around for immigration reform and there are good people working on making sure that dream comes to fruition.
I have never been to New York before but it isn’t places that hold importance–it’s people. And sometimes we meet and spend time with people who remind us why we are still residing in this #%#%% country.
I remember when I was a kid, I had made a speech about how friendship was the most important and telling relationship since it was one of the only ones that we aren’t forced to make or keep. This blog has many friendly stalkers and the ones in New York are both special and important enough to keep.
I inherited the red-eye on Thursday, spent the day in company of friends working to stop the deportation of Taha, had a smashing night with little sleep, got dragged to a meeting I had no stake in, spent a much longer part of the day ‘hobbling’ around New York/New Jersey over Taha’s case and partying the night away. I usually detest traveling but I spent quality time with people I love so the trip was productive.
And I did work. I owed Dave 10 blog posts over the course of the week and delivered duly. From the Senate passing the long-awaited hate crime bill to Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan and Kris Kobach to ICE breaking laws to apologies for racial discrimination and to the undying DREAM Act. And I learned some valuable lessons.
Alright friends, we need help.
1. There is my 511 mile bike ride pledge. 511 miles between August 13 and August 22! For those who have donated or are thinking about donating, it is tax-deductible – TAX ID 94-10007751
2. We have DREAM Act T-shirts for sale for $15 here
If you are sending a check, make it out to ‘Prerna Lal’ and mail it to:
P.O Box 7552,
Ann Arbor, MI 48107
This week I am blogging at Change.org Immigration before heading out to New York, Chicago and Wisconsin.
This is the first time I am fundraising for myself. I have fundraised for countless organizations as a teenager, we fundraise for DreamACTivist.org and other undocumented youth whenever we can, but this is the FIRST TIME I have put up a widget for myself.
This past year I got into all law schools of my choice. But I couldn’t afford to go.
I couldn’t take out student loans since my house is going through foreclosure and our credit is bad.
I couldn’t get any federal or state financial aid since I am undocumented.
I decided to delay law school for another year, to delay our dreams. This dream has been delayed since I was 16 and decided to be a public interest attorney.
Now, as I find myself suddenly fatherless, this dream seems more elusive than ever.
It’s not empty fundraising. I will be doing a 9-day, 511 mile bike ride in the summer heat from UCLA to UC Berkeley. It’s a distance that I have never covered and given that my body has adverse reaction to prolonged exposure to sunlight, it is certainly going to be a challenge.
Hosted by RISE-UCB, Tam and I will try and cover this event daily on DreamActivist.org, including daily video uploads and write-ups. I will twitter! We will do a kickass job of bringing the event to you, I promise.
I will survive and hopefully we raise something so I can afford to go back to college next August.