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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

Presente.org and its Allies Celebrate Upcoming Announcement by Obama Administration to Provide Relief from Deportation to DREAM Act Students

Historic Decision Allowing Many Undocumented Students to Remain in Country, Secure Work Permit. Reflects Power of Great Organizing

June 15, 2012

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2012
Contact: Blair FitzGibbon, 202.503.6141

Today, President Obama will announce that he is extending Deferred Enforced Departure Status - a protection from deportation - to DREAM Act eligible young people. For the past few years, Presente.org and its more than 260,000 members have joined forces with the inspired and inspiring networks of DREAM Act students like United We DREAM, DREAM Activist, the Trail of DREAMs and others who have fought fiercely to prevent the deportation of DREAM eligible students. Preliminary information indicates that estimated 800,00 young people may benefit from the deferral announcement. DREAM Act eligible students between 15 and 30 years old, who have lived in the U.S. for five years, and maintained continuous U.S. Residency are eligible according to reports.

"For many years, Presente.org has provided direct and strategic support to DREAM Act students and the DREAMer organizations responsible for this decision by the Obama Administration," said Presente.org Executive Director, Arturo Carmona. "We applaud both the students and the Obama Administration for this decision. Presente.org is proud to have been a part to the Trail of DREAMs, which elevated the demand to stop deporting DREAMers. During and after the historic walk from Miami to Washington DC to demand an end to DREAMer deportation, President Obama's staff met with the courageous walkers and discussed ending DREAMer deportation."

“As a DREAMer and as an activist that has committed a big part of my life to this cause, I am elated at the announcement,” said Gaby Pacheco of United We DREAM and a DREAM Act eligible student that was part of the Trail of DREAMs. “This is a victory for students and their allies across the country and should be claimed as a major victory throughout our communities.”

While Presente.org and its allies celebrate both the decision by the White House and the activism that made it a reality, we are also cautious. Previous announcements and statements by the Obama Administration have led many in the media and in the community to believe that the President had stopped deporting DREAMers. The daily experience of continued and aggressive deportation of DREAMers has proven otherwise, and has moved students to escalate and raise the profile of their activism.

Today's announcement will come on the eve of a possible Supreme Court decision that it will uphold Arizona's SB-1070, the racial profiling law that will likely jeopardize immigrants, including DREAMers. Presente.org views these developments with great interest and will be vigilant as these very critical issues are discussed, debated and fought in coming weeks. Extremist views will likely lead to an even steeper crisis in the already difficult lives of DREAM students and millions of other immigrants.