ON THE SCENE
United We Dream Managing Director Cristina Jimenez welcomes the audience. r Ivan Rosales shares his plight with VOICE reporter Sheeba Raj. w
United We Dream Educates DREAMers, Spreads Message of Hope, Caution
savings bond—because he lacked a Social Security number. The irony of winning a contest, yet losing a prize, foreshadowed a less-than-robust life in Ivan's mind. As he grew older, Ivan, an aspiring doctor, also lost opportunities to intern at a hospital, travel with his class to Europe, and obtain a driver's license.
van Rosales won a science competition in the seventh grade, but couldn't claim the prize—a
But thanks to an initiative announced by President Barack Obama, Ivan and others like him—young, undocumented immigrants who
arrived in the United States as children and meet certain other criteria—can apply for deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, which became effective August 15. These DREAMers, as they are called, can receive a two-year reprieve from deportation and a work permit (both subject to renewal), with an approved application.
Ivan and approximately 20 other DREAMers were on hand as United We Dream—a network of youth-led immigrant organizations around the country—launched its "Own
the DREAM" campaign during a press conference held at AILA's headquarters on August 7. Among the speakers were United We Dream Managing Director Cristina Jimenez, who said that the organization is striving to make the campaign the "gold standard for trusted information and assistance for DREAMERs."
Don Lyster, Director of the National Immigration Law Center's Washington, D.C., office, also took the podium to describe to the audience what he called a three-pronged, comprehensive legal strategy to help