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    21 Good Reasons to Risk Deportation for the DREAM Act

    21 immigrant youth are holding sit-ins in congressional offices on Capitol Hill, risking arrest and deportation in order to draw attention to the DREAM Act, which would grant them a path to citizenship. These are their dreams- dreams that to them are well worth the risk.

    • 1. Because she came to America on the 4th of July

      Laura came to America as a 1 year old baby on Independence Day. Since then, she has finished high school, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and become an advocate for her right to contribute to the country.

    • 2. Because she's an asset, NOT a liability.

      Dulce has a degree in Electrical Engineering and is a licensed realtor. She wants to start a think tank and a talent tank to resolve the world's global issues. She says, "These are my dreams. I cannot live in political limbo for the rest of my life."

    • 3. Because he's fighting for his mother's life.

      Jose: "My mother is suffering from kidney failure. Every day she is a little closer to death. She needs the DREAM Act to allow me to be free and work. It is with this sense of urgency that I call on this nation to listen to the real voices of undocumented youth fighting for a lifeline for our families."

    • 4. Because she wants to travel the world.

      Lulu: "I refuse to accept that I will never see my family again. I refuse to believe that change is not possible. I am an undocumented student and I refuse to be silenced. Today, I am fighting for my right to be free and truly be happy."

    • 5. Because he's fighting for freedom.

      Uriel: "When we fail to speak up, when we fail to criticize, when we fail to stand up for our ideals, and when we fail to improve the lives of those around us; it is a far greater blow to the freedom, the decency, and to the justice which truly represents this nation we call home."

    • 6. Because it's only 9 numbers.

      Jesus: "Nine numbers separate thousands of undocumented youth from pursuing our dreams and goals in school and society."

    • 7. Because Mexico is not home.

      David: "The memories I have of Mexico do not feel like they are mine. They don't feel like mine because they are from a place that is completely strange to me."

    • 8. Because he came when he was 2 years old.

      Jose came to this country when he was 2 years old, and all he wants is to get an education, succeed, and make his mother proud.

    • 9. Because she wants to get a PhD

      Diana from Missouri wants to get a PhD and become an anthropologist. Can we ever have too many PhDs?

    • 10. Because his parents sacrificed everything for him.

      First they brought him to this country to save his life (he was declared a probable dead infant in Mexico). Then, in the U.S., when Ricardo was having trouble trying to get into college and afford it, his parents told him "it does not matter if we break every bone in our body, or if our muscle ache everyday from pain, what matters is that we get you an education. We will scrape up enough money any way we can to pay for your college.

    • 11. Because when they said she couldn't, she said yes I can.

      Sonia's college advisor told her there is no room for immigrants in college. She's there anyways, and now she's fighting for her right to use her degree.

    • 12. Because she's on Team NSync

      Isabel from Virginia: "I grew up here eating pizza and hamburgers, listening to NSync, TLC, and watching Full House and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Isn't that all the proof of citizenship you really need to have?

    • 13. Because her teachers wanted to clone her.

      Myrna was such a good student in high school, her teachers wanted to clone her. Imagine what happens when she has the ability to devote herself 24/7 to her studies, after the DREAM Act passes.

    • 14. Because he can speak for himself.

      Nico: "I'm tired of waiting for someone to decide when we are going to be free in this country we call home. I'm not living in the shadows anymore. I'm not going to live in fear. My name is Nico, and I'm undocumented and unafraid."

    • 15. Because she's fighting for her life.

      Ireri: "Laws based on enforcement and criminalization are trying to break me apart and I will not let them. I will fight to break them. I will fight to be who I want to become, and for everyone to have that right."

    • 16. Because he is a mentor to his community.

      Edy from Chicago has been involved in Back of the Yards Neighborhood, Holy Cross/Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, the Marimba Ensemble of Holy Cross, and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Fraternity. His little brothers and dozens of young people in Chicago look up to Edy.

    • 17. Because she's been waiting since 2001

      Tania is the original DREAM Act kid, posterchild for the CARE Act (as it was then known) in 2001. But now she's all grown up, and almost ten years later, she's still undocumented. If anybody can't wait anymore, it's Tania.

    • 18. Because she went on a 13 day hunger strike.

      Rosario from North Carolina went on a 13 day hunger strike outside of Senator Hagan's office, surviving on water and pedialyte. She stopped only when another hunger striker had to go to the hospital.

    • 19. Because she's from Arizona.

      ASU grad Erika is not just taking a stand for herself, but for an entire state under attack. This risk is well worth it to defend her community.

    • 20. Because she's a human being.

      Reyna: "I am a human being, and I deserve to be happy." Enough said. Pass the DREAM Act now.

    • 21. Because the dream IS coming

      Antonia: "It has been a bittersweet journey and I have given a lot up for DREAM, including my family in the mid-west. But I feel the DREAM is coming..."