I just want to say that ACTS has been a true blessing! Even though I am not doing Youth Ministry within a church right now it has definitely helped me with my ministry in working with undocumented teens. Thank you Latino Leadership Circle for providing these resources. By the way if anyone is interested in finding out more about the DREAM Act CAMPAIGN, a campaign that strives to pass a legislation that would allow UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS to receive a higher education and a path to citizenship, check out our website at www.nysylc.org.
The DREAM Act: Helping Immigrant Youth Achieve Legal Status
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
New York City Bar Association Building
42 West 44th Street, New York, NY
(between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Speaking on what the DREAM Act could mean for you, NYC, and the country:
Guillermo Linares: Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
Josh Bernstein: Director of Federal Policy, National Immigration Law Center
Claire Sylvan: Executive Director and founder of Internationals Network for Public Schools
Sandra: New York State Youth Leadership Council.
The DREAM Act is unprecedented legislation that provides a path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrant youth who have grown up in the United States and who complete two years of higher education or military service. The DREAM Act would acknowledge the contribution that hardworking immigrant students make to our country. With a new Congress and with strong bipartisan support, the DREAM Act could become reality this year.
Sponsored by the New York City Bar Immigration and Nationality Committee and by the New York Immigration Coalition
I just wanted to post a comment as a Latino living in America who is in agreement with a different view on immigration.
Illegal immigration causes serious problems, putting pressure on public schools and hospitals and straining State and local budgets. People who have worked hard, supported their families, avoided crime, led responsible lives, and become a part of American life should be called in out of the shadows and under the rule of American law.
I am in agreement with President Bush. I am opposed to an automatic path to citizenship or any other form of amnesty. Amnesty (which is automatic citizenship for those who have entered our country illegally), as a reward for lawbreaking, would only invite further lawbreaking. Amnesty would also be unfair to those lawful immigrants who have patiently waited their turn for citizenship and to those who are still waiting to enter the country legally.
In addition to paying a meaningful penalty, undocumented workers must learn english, pay their taxes, pass a background check, and hold a job for a number of years before they will be eligible to be considered for legalized status.
Any undocumented worker seeking citizenship must go to the “back of the line.” The program should not reward illegal conduct by making participants eligible for citizenship ahead of those who have played by the rules and followed the law. Instead, program participants must wait their turn at the back of the line.
They need to do things the right way. The lawful way. The American way. Or go back home. Because there are too many people who want to enter this country as well but choose to do it in a legal manner. Those people deserve to become a citizen first. Pardon me for my straightfowardness but not some short cutting law breaker. Thanks for reading!
As a Latina, as an educator in diverse communities within our city, and as a member of an ethnically diverse congregation,the immigration issue is very close to my heart. There are varying opinions on the issue for it is a historically, complex one.
What is important to note is that as Christians we have a set of common moral and theological principles that compel us to love and care for the stranger among us, we are all people made in the “image of God” and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. It is undeniable that we have a Biblical responsibility to love and show compassion for the stranger among us, “when a stranger lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The stranger living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” – Leviticus 19:33-34. Other scriptures include, but are not limited to, Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Matthew 25:31-46. The Old Testament is the quintessential story of migration.
The sad reality is that the US immigration system is broken, unjust and inconsistent with our American values. The desire is to see comprehensive immigration reform, not amnesty, that will provide a viable, humane and realistic system that will pave the way to citizenship. Our brothers and sisters throughout this country have historically contributed to our society in enormous ways and continue to do so. We are all the intricate threads that contribute to the fabric of America, a nation of immigrants. It is in our diversity, that our strength lies and in honoring fair legislation, we honor all Americans.
My family journeyed to this country, encountered struggles and difficulties but wanted to pursue a common dream that we all share – to live in peace, to earn a decent livelihood, tap into opportunities, contribute to society, provide for their children and dream the American dream, that dream knows no borders. God’s love is neither restricted by borders nor by labels, we are all his creation. Let’s imagine that kind of world.
I am available to meet individually with anyone who would like to have a healthy dialogue around this ever critical and moral issue. You may want to check out http://www.cirnow.org to see what is happening around this issue.
You will see a post shortly describing “New Sanctuary Movement”, to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the quest for justice. Peace!
“Ours is a nation of law and ours is a nation of immigrants, and we believe that we can have rational, important immigration policy that’s based upon law and reflects our deep desire to be a compassionate and decent nation.” (President George W. Bush)
The President believes America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time, I am in agreement with that very same belief.
We need to uphold the great tradition of the melting pot that welcomes and assimilates new arrivals.
I think that all Latinos in America believe as well that we need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country without animosity and without amnesty.
And extending hope and opportunity in our country requires an immigration system worthy of America with laws that are fair and borders that are secure. But when laws and borders are routinely violated, this harms the interests of our country.
He supports comprehensive immigration reform that will secure our borders, create a temporary worker program, make it easier for employers to verify employment eligibility and continue to hold them to account for the legal status of workers they hire, deal with the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here, and honor the great American tradition of the melting pot.
I as well, feel passionately about the need for our country to conduct themselves with dignity and, at the same time, enforce our border and treat people here with respect.
Thanks so much for reading!
It has been brought to my attention that my comments may have been misinterpreted.
We are living in a time when you can believe anything, as long as you do not claim it to be true. In the name of “tolerance”, our post modern culture embraces everything as relative and nothing as truth. But as Ravi Zacharias has so elequently pointed out, such unquestioning acceptance of all things spiritual is absurd.
The common challenge in writing an opinion tends to be that your emotions are not on display for the world to see. Written comments can become misunderstood and even sometimes when jokes are written they can become offending.
So, I would just like to take the opportunity to apologize to anyone whom I may have annoyed, hurt, or offended by my comments. It is my desire to communicate my personal worldview on issues such as immigration and to do so in a kind manner. There is no reason to be unkind. Even when communicating one’s passionate beliefs there is no need to become harsh, hard, or pressing.
And if I have communicated my worldview in such a way, forgive me.
Much Love –
I’m really excited to know that people are talking about the immigration issue. Even if it’s negative or positive it’s still good to know that this issue does not have to be taboo, especially in Christian circles.
As a Latina and an immigrant that came from Colombia to the U.S. at a very young age, I have seen first hand the struggles that immigrants face in this county, especially undocumented immigrants. I have also grown up seeing the perception that many people have of these immigrants. I have seen how they have not even looked at or considered their side of the story.
I work with undocumented students that are not looking for amnesty but instead are looking for an opportunity and a chance in this country. How can we blame a child for being undocumented? It was not their choice to come here. Should they be punished for something they did not even get to decide on? Most of these young people come from poor and corrupt countries and their parents decide to stay in the U.S. because their kids will have an opportunity that they never had. Is it a sin to want the best for your child? Many of these students are good students and can contribute greatly to the U.S. They can be our future doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. Why would we want to take them away from the place they have called home?
Many people say that immigrants should come legally to the U.S. just like everyone else, but I really question if people who use this argument really know the struggles you have to go through just to obtain a visa in many of these countries. When you are a person of low-income it is not very easy to obtain a visa that will allow you to come here.
What would you say to a poor Mexican mother who has 3 kids who are starving and have no home, and is trying to decide if she should stay in Mexico where her kids would most likely die or risk her life and the life of her kids to have a chance to survive? I hope many can ponder on this question.
I do not think amnesty is the solution, but there should be something comprehensive that can provide a path to legalization. When I talk about a path I mean showing good moral character, having a background check, paying taxes, etc. When the government decides to do this comprehensive plan it is then when state & local governments will not have to pay so many costs.
I always ask people what they think Jesus would do if he was here on earth. Would he deny an undocumented person from seeking medical attention or deny them from receiving a higher education? We need to remember what God’s word says about the foreigner, such as Leviticus 19:34, “…love them as you love yourself”. When we love someone do we kick them out of our home?
I know that the Jesus I serve meets the needs of his people and I do not think he would let that Mexican mother die with her kids in Mexico. Let’s secure our border and have a comprehensive immigration plan for people who want to come into the country and for people who are already here. LET’S SHOW THESE PEOPLE OUR LOVE, NOT OUR HATRED.
What’ interesting to me is that I’ve never heard from any Latinos in America who are against the current administration’s stance towards “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” on what their new idea of reform actually is.
I hear complaints, opinions, rallys, marches and articles, and yet where are the ideas for reform?
So many have a problem with it yet I haven’t heard their solution.
If anyone has a disagreement with how our government is approaching immigration, I don’t believe that its necessary to tell them that they’re hating immigrants, or that they need to grow in the love of God. That I believe, is not the issue.
If I adopt a child into my family and give him access to all the pleasures that living in my home offers, he must abide by my rules in the house. Correct?
However, if a random child breaks into my home and says that despite the fact that he broke into my home he wishes to stay, (regardless of his unlawful entry) and enjoy the pleasures of living in my home, well I would then remove that child from my home instructing him to enter in the right way or no way at all.
The amazing grace that these United States are providing here is that those who enter illegally are not condemned from entering again. They must however pay for their actions and can be eligible in the future for entry. Sounds like grace to me.
You can’t break the law and expect to enjoy the best. It sounds to me like what happened with us at calvary. Man broke God’s law and longs to enjoy the pleasures of abiding in the blessing, yet refuses to abide by his Word. We see it from Genesis to now. We cannot enjoy God’s best without abiding by His commands. and we cannot enjoy America’s best without abiding by its commands.
However if anyone wishes to change those commands. Then they must provide a coherent approach to immigration reform that will secure our borders, create a temporary worker program, make it easier for employers to verify employment eligibility and continue to hold them to account for the legal status of workers they hire, deal with the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here, and honor the great American tradition of the melting pot.
I was blessed and thankful to be part of the class too, I support the American Act Dream, please keep us informed of any updates; if there’s anything else we could do; let us know,need more signatures too? its really great to know that there’s a lot more people out there fighting for a better world !