Originally posted on Citizen Orange.
The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service. With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!
[Note from Kyle de Beausset: Selvin wrote this letter right before he got into a minor car accident on April 9, 2010. He was set to get his high school diploma in June but has been in detention ever since. I have chosen reproduce Selvin’s letter as I found it in his empty room, rather than polish his slight grammatical errors, to allow his character to shine through.]
Dear President Barack Obama,
From the bottom of my heart, I plead to my God that you and your entire family receive blessings from the highest God while you are reading this letter. I admire and thank you for the great labor that you are fulfilling as a president in this big nation. My name is Selvin Ovidio Arevalo. I came to this country when I was 15 years old. I came from Guatemala to this country to fulfill my dreams because I always have believed that this is a country of many opportunities for those whom want to succeed.Since I came to this country, I have been going to school to learn and enhance my English. Three years ago, I enrolled with Adult Education in Portland, ME, for my high school diploma. Finally, in this June 2010, I shall have my high school diploma. I am already enrolled in college transition. I wish that at the end of this yar, I can go to college, but what concern me about is getting financial aid. I cannot qualify for any financial aid because I am not legal in this country. The reason that I write you is to plead you for a solution to my problem. I have been a Christian since I was a kid. For eight years, I have been praying to my God to touch the heart of the leaders of this country to provide me legalization. I think that I have three important reasons for why I want to be legal in this country. First reason: I want to go to college and have a degree of computer science and more. Second: I am one of the leaders of a Christian church in Portland, Maine. I am the treasurer of the church, a musician; I play instruments in the chorus of my church, and a youth leader. Third: I have not seen my family (parents, sisters, and brother) for eight years. I have shed tears for them, but I am waiting until a legalization to go to see them.
I appreciate and thank you for spending your time reading this letter. Once again, I plead you for a solution to my problem. My faith is great; I believe that one day I am going to be legal in this country. Then my dreams will become true. Once again, thank you for your good will and I hope you have a wonderful time. May the peace of God be with you forever and ever!
Selvin Arevalo Ovidio
How you can help Selvin:
Right now, the focus should still be on stopping the deportation of Ivan Nikolov, but if you would like to stay up to date on Selvin’s case you can:
- “Like” his Facebook page
- Join the Facebook group “We Are Selvin“
- Follow Citizen Orange for more updates
The “DREAM Now” letter series is inspired by a similar campaign started by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The letters are produced by Kyle de Beausset at Citizen Orange with the assistance of America’s Voice. Every Monday and Wednesday DREAM-eligible youth will publish letters to the President, and each Friday there will be a DREAM Now recap.
Approximately 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from U.S. high schools every year, who could benefit from passage of the DREAM Act. Many undocumented youth are brought to the United States before they can even remember much else, and some don’t even realize their undocumented status until they have to get a driver’s license, want to join the military, or apply to college. DREAM Act youth are American in every sense of the word — except on paper. It’s been nearly a decade since the DREAM Act was first introduced. If Congress does not act now, another generation of promising young graduates will be relegated to the shadows and blocked from giving back fully to our great nation.
This is what you can do right now to pass the DREAM Act:
- Sign the DREAM Act Petition
- Join the DREAM Act Facebook Cause
- Send a fax in support of the DREAM Act
- Call your Senator and ask them to pass the DREAM Act now.
- Email kyle at citizenorange dot com to get more involved
Below is a list of previous entries in the DREAM Now Series:
Mohammad Abdollahi (19 July 2010)
Yahaira Carrillo (21 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – Tell Harry Reid You Want the DREAM Act Now (23 July 2010)
Wendy (26 July 2010)
Matias Ramos (28 July 2010)
Weekly Recap – The CHC Has To Stand With Migrant Youth Not Against Us (30 July 2010)
Tania Unzueta (2 August 2010)
Marlen Moreno (4 August 2010)
Weekly Recap – The Ghost of Virgil Goode Possesses the Republican Party (9 August 2010)
David Cho (9 August 2010)
Ivan Nikolov (11 August 2010)
Yves Gomes (16 August 2010)