With the fizzling of the DREAM Act last year and the belief that President Obama is doing little to help their plight, activist groups took matters into their own hands this week, boldly publishing a guide for youth on how not to get deported.
Compiled by the Asian Law Caucus, Educators for Fair Consideration, DreamActivist.org and New Immigrant Youth Alliance, the 63-page page manual titled Education Not Deportation: A Guide for Undocumented Youth in Removal Proceedings
is intended to help those who've exhausted all other options.
The guide covers everything from legal topics (“What is going to happen at your court
hearings?” “Where can you find an attorney?” “What is deferred action?”) to campaigning strategies (“Why go public?” “What can your Member of Congress do?”). The advice is comprehensive and relevant to today's generation with tips on how to use Facebook, Twitter and Digg to round up an army of support.
“The neat thing about social media is you can do it all on your own, you do not need to wait for a reporter to care about your case and cover it,” the guide reads.
It also adds, “Reporters are not your friends.” Aw.
When creating a public profile, the guide suggests that young people share their story in a way that helps people feel connected to them.
When and how did you find out you were undocumented? How did that make you feel? How did it change you image of yourself, and your hopes and dreams? How has your status affected you and your family? How has it limited your ambitions? How has it enhanced your involvement in social justice issues? How have these experiences changed you as a person and your aspirations?
It's all a lot to take in for those struggling to stay in the country. In the end, the guide offers some words of hope:
DREAM Act students have been told “NO” more times that they can count. We want to tell you, “Yes, it can be done. Yes, it can be done. Here is what we have learned from doing it.” DREAMers are resilient, brave and champions in their own right. Yet, when faced with imminent deportation, we see they must push even further and fight to stay in the place they've called home for so many years.