Chicago's Daley Plaza was the site of raw emotion and deep frustration. A large crowd of young people holding signs, banners, and American flags, gathered to hear undocumented youths from around Chicagoland talk about what it's like living without immigration papers during the launch of the National Coming Out Week, which will see undocumented youth declare their status in states across the country.
The speakers yesterday afternoon said they were brought to the U.S. when they were very young -- one came when she was six, another when he was just one year old -- by their parents from Mexico, Kuwait, the Phillipines, and other countries. The DREAM Act, which failed to make it through the last Congress and was blocked in the 2010 lame duck session by a GOP filibuster, would have offered a path for undocumented youth to regularize their status. That's simply not available right now, and the result is fear of deportation, and worries about paying for college and finding jobs. Take a look at some of the testimony:
Tania Unzueta, who helped organize the speak-out with the Immigrant Youth Justice League, said the assumption is that no immigration legislation will advance out of the politically divided Congress for at least the next two years. Immigrant youth, she said, will use that time to build up their communities and organizations.