On Wednesday, December 1st, YAYA sent a delegation to participate in a rally in support of the DREAM Act in front of Florida Senator George LeMieux’s Orlando office. The rally was organized by The Hope Community Center, the Sin Fronteras Youth Group, the Catholic Diocese of Orlando and FOCUS.
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) would open up a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented youths who aspire to receive a college education or enlist in the military.
Despite a recent poll by Gallup indicating as many as 54% of the American public supports the DREAM Act (with only 42% opposing) Congressional Republicans have stalled the legislation.
The rally was held in an attempt to persuade outgoing Senator LeMieux to buck his party’s obstructionism and support legislation that at its core supports the supposed notions of the “American Dream.” A delegation of both documented and undocumented youth’s went into his office to confront the Senator’s aids, as he was in Washington. According to one account, LeMieux’s aid laughed off the group and repeated prepared remarks on how Senator LeMieux would not support the DREAM Act until “the borders were secure.”
Nonetheless, the rally goers were undeterred in their passionate support of the legislation intoning a number of religious and social justice themed chants. Despite Senator LeMieux’s failure to side with the people thus far on the DREAM Act; the rally was effective in illustrating the solidarity among various religious, farm worker and labor groups in supporting legislation that provides a pathway to a better future for so many so-called undocumented Americans.