On a cloudy Saturday afternoon this weekend, my kids Nora (12) and Liam (10) and I joined about 1,000 undocumented immigrant youths (aka DREAMers) who gathered at the CASA de Maryland office in Langley Park for a spirited rally and march. We were there to “Stand Up for Justice” and urge people to cast a “for” vote on Question 4 of the November 6 Maryland DREAM Act referendum (the question is posed as “for” or “against”).
This was a great event for me and my family, since I’m helping LIRS mobilize Lutherans to support the DREAMers. It was wonderful to hear young DREAMers tell the crowd about their experiences and why they were coming out to speak out for equality in access to higher education. Yves Gomes talked about how he came to this country at the age of one, the son of undocumented immigrant parents from India who were subsequently deported. He faced imminent deportation until he was granted a rare reprieve in August 2010. Yves recalled how afraid he was when he was asked to speak at a similar immigrant rights rally two years ago, and how he no longer fears speaking publicly because he draws his strength from other DREAMers.
Chants of “Undocumented, Unapologetic, Unafraid” and “Si Se Puede” (“Yes We Can”) rang out as the rally turned into a march through a heavily populated immigrant neighborhood. Later, the DREAMers made their way to the University of Maryland, accompanied by the horns of supportive motorists and the cheers of local residents.
The march/rally was organized to drum up public support for a “for” vote on Question 4 of the November 6 Maryland DREAM Act referendum. LIRS, in partnership with allies like CASA de Maryland, is backing the campaign for the MD DREAM Act. Learn more about the campaign at http://blog.lirs.org/dream.
And if you live in Maryland, please come out to vote “for” on Question 4 on November 6!