I stand for the Dreamers.
Back in 2010, I stood in the humid heat of Washington, D.C. as I got ready to lobby for the first time ever. As a young immigrant myself, I couldn’t imagine what those like myself had to go through, on top of being undocumented.
Life for newly immigrated folks is never easy. It is even harder when you don’t have the ability to go to school or get a job because of your immigration status. That day, I resolved to fight for immigrant youth even harder, specially my undocumented familia.
Back then, it was the DREAM Act: Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors which aimed to provide qualifying undocumented minors conditional residency and after awhile, permanent residency. This bill first proposed in 2001 would have enabled undocumented youth who entered the country before 2007 to be eligible to go to school, qualify for scholarships and grants, and have employment opportunities.
But since we’re living in a fascist, racist, white supremacist, xenophobic, transphobic and toxic place of a state, all of that was wiped out with an announcement from Jeff Sessions on September 5th on Trump’s orders.
So what’s next?
It feels like every day is an entirely different struggle, Trump dropping the next bomb to distract and divide us all in different issue groups.
In the meantime, I’m grateful and beyond empowered to support the #DefendDACA movement across the nation. Here are some resources to know and have while this is happening.
At the end of the day, I will #DefendDACA until the DREAM Act — which includes a path to citizenship — is duly approved by Congress. I’m just hoping that that actually comes to fruition, in spite of a regressive and reactionary-controlled Congress.
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In other news, I published my book review for Tuwing Ikatlong Sabado this week! Check out my highlights from this trove of Filipino spoken word poems:
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If you’re looking for literary resources and books on immigrants and refugees,
here are a few from the blog:
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.