DREAM 9 Pass Credible Fear


PB Fotography

PB Fotography

The media is abuzz with news that the DREAM 9 were approved for asylum or tentatively approved.

Before you go out to protest against “asylum for Mexican nationals” none of this is true.

When someone walks into the U.S. without papers and requests asylum, they are detained for a credible fear interview, which should be given to them within 48 hours. Alas, sometimes this takes months. Our organizing helped to get these interviews conducted within a week.

Credible fear is a really low bar. It does not mean they have been granted asylum or will be granted asylum.

Now, the Dream 9 should receive a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court in Arizona, to fight for their asylum claim in front of a judge. The date will be set later. First, they have a Master Calendar hearing, which should be scheduled soon, and then an individual hearing for the asylum claim.
This can take months, even years. During this entire process, they are subject to detention. Thankfully, the Obama Administration has a practice of releasing persons who pass the credible fear interview. However, asylum is not the goal – it is a legal strategy to get them out of detention. The goal is to bring them home. Today, call on ICE to release them so they can come home.

1. Sign the petition if you have not already

2. Make a call:
DC ICE @ 202-732-3000
ICE in AZ @ 602-766-7028

Script: “While they fight their cases, let the Dream 9 go!”

Now for the news round-up.

Michelle Chen wrote a great and must-read piece on the DREAM 9 yesterday for In These Times:

The Dream 9 have become a rallying point for many youth in the movement who have felt shut out of the cautious political dialogues in Washington. By framing immigrant justice as a human rights issue, they challenge mainstream reform groups that selectively tout the merits of the “good” immigrants who have proven to be “deserving” through their educational achievement or patriotism. They aim to push the debate beyond the usual Beltway rhetoric of “earned citizenship” and “aspiring Americans.” After all, these young detainees are not the “model” Dream Act youth who make the headlines, the sympathetic strivers. For these rogue nine, it’s not about just “earning” papers or citizenship, but the principle of belonging.

The Youngist explains why the DREAM 9 matter:

These acts of escalation are more than protests against inhumane treatment in facilities owned by private institutions – though they are certainly that as well. They are loud, clear, resounding cries to bring humanity into a system that is so clearly mislabeled as “justice.” And in their calls for humanity, we hear echoes of our own movements across the country and across the globe. if movements fail to recognize their struggles as intrinsically tied to those occurring in Eloy, Guantanamo, Pelican Bay, and beyond, they acknowledge and accept that organizing is not a right, but rather a privilege – administered only to those who already have the right to be seen and heard.

Attorney Matthew Kolken delivered a the ultimate punch-line to the media on the DREAM 9 to Fox News Latinos:

“I think this is the largest story in the history of immigration law,” Kolken said. “The only one that can rival this is the John Lennon deportation case. This is Rosa Parks sitting in the front of the bus.”

Commentator Ruben Navarette came out in support of the DREAM 9:

I’ve had my differences with the DREAMer movement. . . But I never questioned their sincerity, or dismissed anything they did as a stunt. I wouldn’t presume to tell people who put their freedom at risk along the U.S.-Mexico border that the difficult decisions they’re making are the wrong ones. And I certainly wouldn’t do it to protect an administration that doesn’t deserve protecting.

As of today, 43 members of Congress have signed on to a letter in support of the DREAM 9 and over 500 organizations around the country have come out in support including labor unions, faith groups, and every undocumented-led group.

I’ve heard a lot of names lately, including reckless, self-destructive, crazy, controversial, and my personal favorite, “diversion.”

You can call it whatever you want to call it.

I call it history.


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