News / USA

'Dreamers' Give Human Face to Immigration Reform

'Dreamers' Give Human Face to Immigration Reformi
X
July 11, 2013 7:39 PM
A network of young undocumented immigrants called "Dreamers" is playing a key role in advocating for immigration reform in the United States. Last year, President Barack Obama issued a directive giving many "Dreamers" semi-legal immigration status. As VOA’s Brian Padden reports, they now are speaking out publicly, talking about the human toll of deportation policies and giving the reform movement a human face.
Brian Padden
A network of young undocumented immigrants called "Dreamers" is playing a key role in advocating for immigration reform in the United States. Last year, President Barack Obama issued a directive giving many "Dreamers" semi-legal immigration status. They now are speaking out publicly, talking about the human toll of deportation policies and giving the reform movement a human face.

As U.S. lawmakers consider immigration reform, Brazilian born Renata Teodora wants them to think of her.

“It’s important to at least share your story, share who you are so that people know you are not, you know, some criminal. You’re not someone stealing their taxes, stealing their spot from school, that you’re just a regular American no different than anybody else,” she said.

Teodora is a "Dreamer," a term used by advocates to describe young, undocumented immigrants who can now live, work and go to school in America thanks to a presidential directive issued last year by the president.

Advocating for citizenship

To show why the current immigration system is inhumane, she recently traveled to Arizona with the pro-legalization group United We Dream to see her mother for the first time in six years. Her family was deported.  They left her behind so she could find a better life in America. While the reunion was staged to make a point, Teodora said speaking through the border fence was still very emotional.

“I didn’t think that I would have the memory of walking up to my mom and not being, not being able to hug her, and having this rusty orange fence in between the most beautiful person,” she said.

In a United We Dream video, Dreamers confront Florida Senator Marco Rubio prior to the Senate’s passage of an immigration reform bill that now is being considered in the House of Representatives.  

United We Dream’s Julieta Garibay said Dreamers in 26 states have energized the movement.

“I think many people started to see, like even if you are undocumented, you do have power, even if you are undocumented, you have a voice and you can put pressure on members of Congress and the president,” said Garibay.

Opponents speak

Opponents of granting the undocumented a path to citizenship call it amnesty, and they say it will encourage illegal immigration.

“If you give amnesty to these young people, they are on a path to U.S. citizenship in which they can sponsor the parents who brought them into the country illegally. So it is a slice of an amnesty that has large scale implications for the future," said Jack Martin, who is with the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

He does admit that Dreamers have been effective, though, in generating public support for their cause.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid