DREAM Now Letters: Mohammad Abdollahi

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!

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

Every Monday and Wednesday DREAM-eligible youth will publish letters to the President, and each
Friday there will be a DREAM wrap-up.  If

you’re interested in getting involved or posting these stories on your site, please email Kyle de Beausset at kyle at

citizenorange dot com.

President Barack H. Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC  20500

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Mohammad Abdollahi and I am an undocumented immigrant. 

Two

months ago I made history.   



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

take

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

or the

language.  I also happen to be gay.  In Iran, people like me are

tortured

and executed. I am still at risk of deportation and execution, right

now,

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

Republican, who

have used me as a political football.  My family immigrated to the

United

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

infamous

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

the

application spent his time bickering with the old attorney instead of

informing

my parents that they only had 60 days to appeal our rejected

application. 

The deadline came and went and we became undocumented. 

I’ve known I was undocumented for a long time, but I still graduated

from

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

paper,

I could go to my mother and tell her that she didn’t have to stay up

late

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

supervisor,

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

DREAM Act

came up for a vote in the Senate, and 44 other people decided that they

too

were going to hold my future hostage. Three years later, my future and

the

futures of over 2 million others are still being held hostage.  Two

months

ago, I risked my life because once again the window to my future is

closing. 

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

this

Congress.  The DREAM Act has more support in the Senate than any other

piece of immigration legislation, but it is being held hostage by

Democrats who

do not want to vote on it separately from comprehensive immigration

reform, and

by Republicans who refuse to publicly support legislation they have

supported

before. 

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.

Sincerely,
Mohammad Abdollahi

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:

  1. Sign the DREAM Act Petition
  2. Join the DREAM Act Facebook Cause
  3. Send a fax in support of the DREAM Act
  4. Email kyle at citizenorange dot com to get more involved

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