It was organized by Congregations Organizing for Renewal as part of an ongoing show of support for the Dream Act, a bill that would offer a means to get citizenship to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the country when they were children.
According to Matt O’Brien’s story, “The Dream Act would give conditional green cards to undocumented immigrants if they graduate from high school and pursue a college education or military service. After a 10-year waiting period, they could obtain permanent residency if they met all the requirements, and they could eventually apply for citizenship.
They would have to be under 30 years old to qualify and must have arrived in the country before their 16th birthday. According to the latest version of the bill, they will also pay $2,525 in fees for the privilege of legal residency — $525 to apply, and $2,000 five years later to extend the conditional visa.
California is estimated to have about a quarter of the more than 800,000 people who could benefit from the act.”
Read on for the COR press release on last night’s rally.DREAM With Us!
Faith Leaders, Community Leaders, DREAMers from Tennyson High School and Chabot College Rallied at a Prayer Vigil at Hayward City Hall on Dec 7th and a Rally Last Week at Chabot. Hundreds of Signatures Were Gathered, and Calls were made to Urge the House and Senate-Pass the DREAM Act as the House considers a DREAM vote today! Hayward City Council wrote a formal letter of support for the dignity and education of our children.
We believe in protecting the human dignity of every human being, especially that of our children.
Who: Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR) youth leaders, Chabot College Active Dreamers, MEChA, Puente, Tennyson High School Students and community faith leaders from across South Alameda County
What: The Community came together for signature gathering, live phone-banking, and an appeal to the Hayward City Hall for formal support. The Students and supporters acted in solidarity with DREAM Students from across the country, while the House considers whether to bring the DREAM Act to a Vote during this lame-duck session.
When: Last Wednesday, December 1st in the Cesar Chavez Courtyard at Chabot College, followed by a candle-lit vigil at Hayward City Hall on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 6-7 pm, followed by a city council meeting with comments from DREAM Act supporters
Where: Hayward City Hall 777 B Street Hayward, CA 94541-5007
“There are times when a proposal should be enacted because, simply put, it is the right thing to do. This is one of them. On behalf of the U.S. Catholic bishops and thousands of young persons across the country, I urge Congress to enact the DREAM Act.”
– ARCHBISHOP JOSE GOMEZ, Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles
Chairman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration
As the pressure builds in the House for a DREAM vote, COR youth leaders, Chabot College students, and community faith leaders came together last week and last night to rally gather hundreds of signatures and calls the to pass the DREAM Act. COR leaders were joined by PICO and other leaders across the country in this effort because we believe in protecting human dignity, especially that of our children.
Thousands of hard working young people who were brought to the United States as infants or children can now be locked up in federal detention centers and deported to a country they’ve never known. The DREAM Act could stop the injustice by giving students who have grown up and graduated high school in the United States the opportunity to earn legal status through higher education or Military Service.
“The DREAM Act will strengthen the fabric of our national community,” COR Leader, Rev. Drew Nettinga said. “[Undocumented students] will take the education they worked hard for and apply it in whatever work they do and become productive citizens, which is what we want everyone one to do. It’s what my ancestors came here for.”
The youth were energized by the prospect of a future opening up-a future they have been working very hard for. They were pleased by overwhelming local bi-partisan support in Hayward, and are hopeful that their efforts, replicated across the nation can change policy and help them come out of the shadows.
“It takes so much to learn a new language as a child, pay tuition costs, and do whatever it takes to succeed in school. I am willing to continue gathering community support until students like me have a fair shot here in America, because this is our home!” Karina-Chabot Student
COR is part of the PICO National Network piconetwor.org and PICO California http://www.picocalifornia.org/
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