Donovan Slack, Politico, February 6, 2013
President Obama’s former campaign organization is sending out a heart-rending appeal asking for undocumented immigrants to share their stories publicly in an effort to galvanize support for immigration reform.
The appeal from Organizing For Action is signed by an undocumented immigrant who says his parents brought him to the United States at the age of 2 and he went to high school, college and graduated from law school and was a recipient of deferred action.
Here’s the full appeal:
I was brought to this country from Mexico when I was 2 years old.
I am an undocumented immigrant — and I am living proof that our immigration system is broken.
For the first 17 years of my life, I slept on a couch. My mom worked three jobs to support our family.
I worked hard, too. I did my homework, participated in class, and earned the opportunity go to college. But after I enrolled, state law changed and many undocumented immigrants were forced to drop out. Suddenly they could no longer afford the education they were eager to work for.
We started organizing. We’d go up to people on campus, and ask them if they’d heard about the DREAM Act, which would allow hard-working immigrants who grew up in the U.S. to earn a path to citizenship. For those who opposed it, we’d tell them what happened to us.
It was amazing: Just telling our stories would change people’s minds.
This is exactly how we’re going to persuade people across the country to get behind President Obama’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform.
Everyone has a story — I’m sure you do, too. As the President said last week, “Unless you’re one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else. Somebody brought you.”
At this critical moment, will you share your immigration story? Organizing for Action will use these stories to move the conversation forward.
Now, almost six years later, I’ve completed law school and was fortunate to receive deferred action. I consider myself an American, and I want to play by the same rules as everyone else. But, as it stands, I can never become a citizen. I can’t adjust my status. For most of my life, I could have been arrested, detained, and deported.
I’m not alone. Millions of undocumented immigrants like me live in fear of being deported permanently to a country we may have never even visited. Our entire lives could be erased.
You might not live under the same shadow. But the best thing about this country is that we are more alike than we are different. We all have a story of a mother, or grandfather, or great-great grandparent who came here to find opportunity or safety.
Through this grassroots movement, we can raise our voices, tell our stories, and make sure Congress and all Americans better understand the ties that bind us. Our stories can drive our organizing. Share your own story today, and help Organizing for Action get the word out on why this matters:
The majority of Americans agree we need to fix our badly broken system, and we saw major progress last week. But it’s on us to keep up the momentum and make sure it gets done.
Thanks for speaking up.