(Bear with me as I took this photo with my iPhone. From left to right: Kyle de Beausset, Matías (last name not listed), Lisbeth Mateo, and Yahaira Carrillo, at the “Illegal” Organizing panel.)
On my first day at Netroots Nation, I attended so many interesting panels such as the Latino Caucus — my report on it is coming up next — and the panel pictured to the right: “‘Illegal’ Organizing: Lessons from the Migrant Youth Movement.” For video of the discussion, click here.
The four young adults pictured are brave. They have “come out” — their words — as undocumented and have been arrested for civil disobedience. They have sat in Sen. John McCain’s office, Sen. Harry Reid’s office, have stood front and center at immigration rallies and have even been detained. One of the speakers said she believes they have not been deported because it would be “bad PR” for immigration officials. When people discuss “illegals,” the image of a young person in a cap and gown, assimilated and speaking English, is not what immediately comes to mind. Yet, passage of the DREAM Act would grant a million of these youth temporary permanent residency in the only country they call home.
“We are visible and upfront,” activist Yahaira Carrillo said. “We get personal attacks, personal e-mails and personal messages on Facebook and Twitter. But (coming out) also has its benefits.”
Unlike their parents, Carrillo and her fellow panelists represent a new mentality among undocumented youth. They are not afraid of declaring themselves undocumented, signing online petitions and attending rallies.
Lisbeth Mateo said they survive through their creativity. They have started their own businesses, been hired anyway — they are educated and speak English — or depend on donations for their activism. In other words, they have the work ethic and drive of Americans.
“Some people call it naive or foolish,” Carrillo said. “But we call it fighting for our lives.”
One way to help their cause is to call your members of Congress and have them support the DREAM Act.
In non-Netroot Nation news: Laurie Puhn at the Expecting Words blog wrote about how our partner’s flaws — and our own flaws — can blow up in our faces once we have children. She offered tips on how to fix them. Also in the Expecting Words blog: Laurie just attended the Smart Marriages Conference in Orlando and learned a bunch of factoids, like, the No. 1 predictor of divorce is the habitual avoidance of conflict. (Here is the source.)
The Associated Press had an article about a controversial school board measure in Raleigh, North Carolina, that critics say will re-segregate schools. Warning: do not read the comments as they are downright scary.
A writer at Mamapedia wrote about life after foreclosure.
In celebrity gossip break (that’s what it’s become!): Mama Palin supposedly doesn’t approve of daughter Bristol and Levi Johnston’s engagement, according to Reuters.
What else is in the news? What’s up with you?