This is one of the letters that was going to be delivered to Congressman Kirk on Sunday at Joe’s bar by three immigrant youth who wanted to remind him how important the DREAM Act and reforming the immigration system to reflect the realities of immigrants is.
Before we could deliver the letters we kicked out of the event (see tweet above). One of the people at the rally recognized one of us as someone who had been involved in an action earlier in the week at Lincoln park republican campaign office. The guards asked us to step outside, to see our ids and took the “Kirk” stickers we had been given. They told the volunteers not to let us in again.
My name is Ireri, I am undocumented, and I am writing to you to urge you to support the DREAM Act. I know you have stated that you are concerned about border security first, and that Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act come in second (if not further down your priorities).
But to me, and thousands of youth and families in Illinois and across the country, passing the DREAM Act now as a step towards immigration reform is something just as important in order to keep our families and community safe. Safe to go to the authorities to report a crime without fear of deportation and safe from being torn away from the country we call our home.
And when one member of our society, because we are members of society and residents of this state, does not feel safe, the whole of society suffers. The jobs immigrants create go down. The potential and creativity we have is stifled. Our spending power decreases, as does that of the state.
Denying youth like myself the right to give back to this country by not passing the DREAM Act in no way helps the security or prosperity of this country. All that talent, all those skills, are being lost.
This letter won’t convince you to support the DREAM Act, I know that. But you should know that if you are elected senator you cannot keep ignoring us or shoving us to the back. I have lived in this state for 16 years, since I was 7, and I have plans to stay in this country for as long I can give back to my community. I am not leaving.
As a resident of this state I shall continue to lobby my senator, whoever that may be, for as long as I have to in order to get my point across. What I am asking is for a meeting with you to show you our side of the story, and to support the DREAM Act now.
A long time resident of the state,
Contact me, if you so wish. I’m sure we will be in touch.