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Breaking News: A Sit-in for the DREAM

Four undocumented college students are celebrating the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education by staging a sit-in outside the offices of Arizona Senator John McCain. Their protest is multi-tasked; taking aim at the recent Arizona “papers” law as well as advocating for the passage of the DREAM Act.

Lizbeth Mateo of Los Angeles,California; Tania Unzueta of Chicago, Illinois; Mohammad Abdollahi of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Yahaira Carrillo of Kansas City, Missouri as well as Arizona native, Raul Alcaraz are taking part in the sit in.

It began at 11:30 AM, Arizona time on 5/17.

Update:  After a day long sit-in Mohammad Abdollahi, Yahaira Carrillo, Lizbeth Mateo and Raul Alcarazan  have been arrested and detained. A fifth protester, Tania Unzueta of Chicago was not arrested and has been designated as spokesperson for the detainees.

The college students risked deportation to both protest Arizona’s new anti immigration laws an to build support for passage of the DREAM Act.

Lizbeth, 25, an organizer with DREAM Team Los Angeles, states, "There are already ten other states across the country considering immigration legislation similar to Arizona’s: legislation that is anti-family, anti-democratic, and anti-freedom. Police states and enforcement are quickly becoming the standard, and we are running out of time. We are going to pass the DREAM Act because it is based on freedom and equality."

"During the civil rights movement, African-American students were arrested for sitting down at lunch counters. We’ve been detained for standing on a sidewalk. We can’t wait any longer for the DREAM Act to pass," said Tania, 26, co-founder of the Immigrant Youth Justice League, and immigrant rights organizer in Chicago. Her Twitter feed is here.

Mohammad, 24, co-founder of DreamActivist.Org, a resource web portal for undocumented students, said in a statement: "Never in our history has it been American to deny people their civil rights. We have decided to peacefully resist to encourage our leaders to pass the DREAM Act and create a new standard for immigration reform based on education, hard work, equality, and fairness."

The other day, I did a short explanation of the DREAM Act and how you can help.

[Photo reprinted with the permission of the photographer]

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Cynthia Kouril

Cynthia Kouril

Cynthia Kouril is a former Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York under several different U.S. Attorneys, former counsel to the Inspector General for the N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection where she investigated threats to the New York City water supply and other environmental crimes, as well as public corruption and fraud against the government, former Examining Attorney at the N.Y.C. Department of Investigation and former Capital Construction Counsel at New York City Parks and Recreation.
She is now in private practice with a colleague whom she met while at the USA Attorney's Office. Ms. Kouril is a member of the Steering Committee, National Committeewoman and Regional Coordinator for the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, a member of the Program Committee of the Federal Bar Council and a member of the Election Law Committee at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is active in several other Bar Associations.
Most important of all, she is a soccer mom.

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