Back to School & DREAMing

As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I have an opinion on just about everything. My dad once laughed outloud when I was giving my views on the new Pope (Benedict)–he said that it figured that I, a non-Catholic, would of course have this whole argument about the new Pope.

I am often guilty of over-advocacy–since quitting my full-time advocacy job, I haven’t felt as much of a compulsion to limit myself to core issues in order to avoid weakening my impact (a cardinal rule of nonprofit advocates). I admit to responding to just about all of the ‘urgent’ action alerts that come across my email–from human rights in Burma to extension of unemployment benefits to climate change regulations.

Still, it would be hard to think of very many advocacy issues that matter more to me than the plight of immigrant youth in the United States. I personally know dozens of kids in these circumstances, and they are, almost without exception, extraordinarily bright and talented and promising young people. They are inspiring and generous and very brave.

And, right now, they need our help. As students (including mine!) head back to school all over this country, hundreds of thousands of immigrant students in the U.S. prepare for their final year of high school, without knowing what life holds for them after graduation. Thousands more are plugging away at college, achieving a remarkable feat made more notable by the controversy surrounding their enrollment. And Congress has the rare opportunity to do something good to help a vulnerable population while also helping all of us, by giving these kids a chance to fully contribute to our society. It’s a win-win, literally, and we need to make it happen THIS YEAR.

So, please, take three minutes and contact your member of Congress to ask him/her to support the DREAM Act. I’ve linked to talking points and an action alert, both of which are generated by the awesome students and advocates leading the charge on this issue. You can also make a financial contribution to the United We DREAM campaign. I’d love to hear feedback after you make your call–what did your member of Congress tell you? With whom did you speak? How was your experience?

Have a great school year, everyone, and let’s make DREAMS come true.

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