Despite the recent mockings of them by Orange County's so-called "liberal" poobahs, members of the Orange County Dream Team--the group of undocumented college students that are pushing for the passage of a citizenship path for young people who've lived here most of their lives save for their birth--continue their struggle, upping the ante beyond merely pressuring Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez to co-sponsor the DREAM Act. Today, one Dream Team member was one of about 20 Dreamers that staged sit-ins inside Capitol Hill senator offices to draw attention to their plight--and she is now in custody.
Antonia Rivera is an Anaheim resident and here is her statement, released just before today's action. Facebook updates list her as having been arrested by police--we will update when there is more info:
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My life was comfortable: a home, a bedroom, a bed to myself, lots and lots of toys! Then there were the weekend trips to the countryside, the circus and the theater. It was all a 5 year old could possibly ask for. But then my life started to get foggy and that day it all went overboard and I grew up. I could not stand watching my dad pull my mom's long, black hair and in a blur, I found myself running away, trying to preserve that freedom, that joy of life that was in danger of vanishing.
I was only 6. Now almost 22 years later, I feel like Rumi [sic] and Michelle, unsure if to sweat over my 10 year high school reunion next month. It never made a difference before, going as far back as elementary: playing, eating, running, fund-raising, mentoring with my friends. But now, I have to admit it will be a bit awkward explaining why I have not lived up to my full potential. I never expected things to take this long.
I earned a B.A. in Literary Journalism from the University of California-Irvine in 2006, after joining the Orange County Dream Team in 2005. Through it, I partook in the foundation of the CA Dream Network, DREAMS at UC Irvine and Dream Team Los Angeles. In 2007, I was part of a Caravan and a 7 day hunger fast to San Francisco. Over the years, I've lobbied and presented to many including the college board.
Yet, I am still "9ine digits away from my dream" and I am not sure how my childhood friends will react to that. It has been a bittersweet journey and I have given a lot up for DREAM, including my family in the mid-west. But I feel the DREAM coming not just for me, but for my younger sister and the numerous friends that I've had the privileged to work with throughout the years.