On May 17, according to the New York Times, I
become one of the first undocumented students, along with two others, to
“have directly risked deportation in an effort to prompt Congress to
up [the DREAM Act].” Risking deportation was no small act for
me. Not only did I risk being forcibly removed from United States, the
only country I know as my home, to Iran, where I don’t know the culture
language. I also happen to be gay. In Iran, people like me are
and executed. I am still at risk of deportation and execution, right
and I will continue to be at risk until the DREAM Act is passed.
I took this risk because I had no choice. For all of my life, my
future has been held hostage by politicians, both Democrat and
have used me as a political football. My family immigrated to the
States from Iran when I was just three years old. Undocumented immigrants are often told, “get in line!”
without knowing that many of us were at one point in this
line. My family was “in line” until an immigration attorney
miscalculated the processing fee for an H1-B visa by $20 dollars and our
application was rejected. The second attorney my family hired to fix
application spent his time bickering with the old attorney instead of
my parents that they only had 60 days to appeal our rejected
The deadline came and went and we became undocumented.
I’ve known I was undocumented for a long time, but I still graduated
high school. While working to pay out-of-state tuition, I was able to
earn my Associate’s degreein Health and Human Services from Washtenaw
College. When I had enough credits, I applied to Eastern Michigan
University. I handed a counselor there my transcript and he said,
“Mohammad, you are the kind of student we want at this university.”
He then handed me an acceptance letter. I was in.
I looked at this letter and thought of my mother. With this piece of
I could go to my mother and tell her that she didn’t have to stay up
crying anymore. She didn’t have to blame herself anymore. She
hadn’t done her children wrong by bringing them to this country. I could
tell her it was all worth it. Then, the counselor brought back his
who told me that they could not accept me because I “needed to be in a
line to get in”. The counselor then reached over his desk and took my
acceptance letter from me.
I left. My future was being held hostage. A short time later, the
came up for a vote in the Senate, and 44 other people decided that they
were going to hold my future hostage. Three years later, my future and
futures of over 2 million others are still being held hostage. Two
ago, I risked my life because once again the window to my future is
I am in limbo. I cannot contribute to the only country I know as my
home. I also cannot return to Iran, where the penalty for homosexuality
is capital punishment.
My only hope is for the DREAM Act to pass, but time is running out in
Congress. The DREAM Act has more support in the Senate than any other
piece of immigration legislation, but it is being held hostage by
do not want to vote on it separately from comprehensive immigration
by Republicans who refuse to publicly support legislation they have
I made history two months ago, and today, along with hundreds of other
undocumented youth from across the nation, I will make history again.
Hundreds of us are descending on Washington D.C. to ask Congress to stop
holding our lives hostage and to pass the DREAM Act now. Please stand
with us and ask Congress to pass the DREAM Act, now.
Approximately 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from U.S. high schools
year, who could benefit from passage of the
Act. Many undocumented youth are brought to the United States before
can even remember much else, and some don’t even realize their
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
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
- Email kyle at citizenorange dot com to get more involved