Undocumented Asian Youth and AALDEF Launch Group for NY and NJ DREAMers

Thursday, May 31, 2012

DREAMers Group.JPGThe Asian American voice has been slowly growing in the debate around the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a proposed federal law that would give undocumented college students a chance to become legal residents, under strict guidelines.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) is collaborating with Asian DREAM Act-eligible students (DREAMers) in New York and New Jersey to launch a youth group that will serve as a safe space for Asian youth to share their struggles and find a voice amid the culture of silence.

"With more programs unjustly targeting undocumented immigrants, this space that the youth are creating is extremely important," said Bethany Li of AALDEF. "AALDEF will work with youth group members to provide guidance on the issues they face, from struggling to pay for higher education to concerns about deportation."

Please share this message from youth group members Tony and Emily:

WE ARE Emerging Voices of Undocumented AAPI Youth!

Hi, we are Tony and Emily. We are Asian American DREAM Act-eligible youth ("DREAMers"). Yes, that means we are undocumented! We are creating a group for AAPI DREAMers in New York and New Jersey in conjunction with Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). Why? We feel that there is a need for a safe space specifically for AAPI DREAMers. We seek to overcome our culture of shame and silence about being undocumented. We want to educate and empower so we no longer have to live in the shadows due to our immigration status.

We are working to provide a safe space to support AAPI DREAMers. We want to provide resources to fellow DREAMers (e.g. know your rights workshops, scholarship information, "Education not Deportation" [END] Cases etc.). We want to organize within our communities for a just path towards legalization and equal access to education. We are committed to working towards a more inclusive, equal society as well as protecting our rights to call our own homes home.

We want to meet fellow AAPI DREAMers interested in creating this space. Contact Tony and Emily at info@aaldef.org

For press inquiries, contact:

Ujala Sehgal
212.966.5932 x.217

For updates, visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Photo from the AAPI Undocumented Youth Convening organized by NAKASEC in December 2011in Alabama. During the Convening, youth joined a march against Alabama's anti-immigrant law HB56. (http://nakasec.org/blog/2797)