Will Sen. Scott Brown Meet With Mass. Immigrant Youth Before April 17?
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In case you missed it, the Associated Press recently covered our request for a meeting with Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.). We are asking Sen. Brown to meet with us before April 17.
Harvard College Act on a Dream has been trying to meet with Sen. Brown since he was first elected at the beginning of the semester. We were told that his office was a mess the first couple of months, but we were finally asked to fax our meeting request to his office. We sent the fax on March 5, 2010.
After not getting a commitment to a meeting for over a month, we were forced to take our meeting request public. We joined forces with the Student Immigrant Movement to set up an online petition which already has over 100 signatures (please sign it if you haven't done so, yet). The online petition resulted in coverage from the AP, and now our request is all over the web. We were happy to hear through the AP that his office has received our meeting request and will shortly ask for more information from us.
Still, it's going to take a lot more than an AP article and a hundred petition signatures to secure a meeting with Brown. Here are some things you can do to help:
- SIGN the petition at change.org and ask all of your friends and family to do the same, especially if they are Massachusetts residents.
- CALL Brown's D.C. office (202-224-4543) and his local office (617-565-3170) to ask whether or not Brown will meet with us before April 17.
- JOIN the Facebook group and ask your Facebook friends to do the same
- HELP us fight any misinformation or nativism that you see online regarding our meeting request.
Currently, we are not asking for any policy commitments from Sen. Brown. We are only asking for a simple meeting. We want Sen. Brown to hear the stories of immigrant youth who have been affected by the broken federal immigration system so that he can decide for himself what should be done. We believe that if Sen. Brown hears from these youth, who know only the United States as their home, that he will do the right thing.
While immigrant youth are at the center of this struggle, it is important to state that it's not just immigrant youth that are affected by this broken immigration system. I am a U.S. citizen, a constituent of Sen. Brown's, and this issue affects me more deeply than almost any other issue that the federal government is currently considering. It affects the U.S. citizen family members of these youth. It affects the peers that these youth study alongside of. It affects the communities they are a part of. It affects a nation which does not take advantage of some of the most talented individuals that it puts through its education system.
It is also important to state that contrary to nativist talking points, there is no "line" for undocumented youth to get into the back of in order to secure legal status. The same is true for the vast majority of all unauthorized migrants, for that matter. If undocumented youth could get in line for citizenship, they would, but they can't. That's a big part of why the system is broken and why it needs to be fixed.
So, when the AP publishes an article that the Boston Globe entitles " Immigrant students seek meeting with Brown" and the Boston Herald distorts that headline into " Illegal aliens seek Scott Brown's help" first let the Boston Herald know that "no human being is illegal". Then, let the Boston Herald know that this issue doesn't just affect undocumented youth, it affects all of us. And finally, let all of those nasty nativist commenters know that there is no line for undocumented youth to get into the back of, and there is no humane way to deport them all. Undocumented youth are American in every sense of the word except for a stupid nine-digit social security number, and it is time that we start treating them as such, and give them the right to exist in the only country they know as their home.