Keeping the DREAM Alive

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The North Texas DREAM Team provides blank document examples of what Deferred Action applicants will have to fill out at the Texas Tech LULAC DACA clinic

Some Texas Tech students continue to keep the DREAM alive, the immigration dream that is.

The North Texas DREAM Team along with support from the Texas Tech League of United Latin American Citizens will be forming the West Texas DREAM Team based in Lubbock by the end of the year.

“We do a lot of advocacy on immigration, the DREAM Act, the latest deferred action, also higher education, community service and civic engagement,” Marco Malagon, president and co-founder of the North Texas DREAM Team, said.

Malagon said there are students at Texas Tech interested in helping start the West Texas branch but the problem is encouraging undocumented immigrants to come forward and seek the help the DREAM team is offering.

“You’re dealing with a high-afraid group of people who it’s not easy to just say ‘Hey I’m going to join you,’” Malagon said. “It’s not like any other organization where you just go there and do this and you’re a part of it.

“This is more intimate. This is more trusting you and trusting your community because once you reveal your status it can potentially be used against you, so you have to be ready for potential consequences.”

Texas Tech’s LULAC will provide the DREAM team with an avenue to reach the campus community.

“The DREAM team does more of the actual information, reading the bills and the stuff like that and doing more of the book work of it,” Analhi Rey, former LULAC president, said. “And LULAC does more of the activism, of doing marches, raising awareness, and also they look into it as well.”

Last semester with the help of the North Texas DREAM Team, LULAC’s DACA Committee Chair Diana Ixtlamati prepared two DACA clinics in Lubbock.

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a temporary solution to immigration reform introduced by President Obama two years ago.

According to the Homeland Security website, it is specifically a program that gives certain young people, brought to the U.S. as children, the security to not be removed from the country or put into removal proceedings. Applicants must fulfill certain criteria to be approved. Once approved, people’s lawful status does not change, however they are not considered to be ensuing unlawful presence in the U.S. and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.

Students take notes at Texas Tech LULAC's DACA clinic training session

Students take notes at Texas Tech LULAC’s DACA clinic training session

Ixtlamati, a DREAMer herself, says her personal experience drove her to organize the clinics.

“I did this because when I filled out the form it was so frustrating,” Ixtlamati said. “I did this on my own between school, between classes, between homework, and if I can keep someone from feeling that frustrated then I know I did a good job because it’s a lot.

“You have to come up with all your evidence and then you think ‘Oh is this evidence good enough? Do I really qualify or not?’ It’s just questions like that.”

Malagon said that while students are showing interest in helping out the DACA community, there are still some obstacles such as information and costs of the application which may be keeping the community from reaching out.

As for the students preparing the organization, there is nothing holding them back, Malagon said.

“It’s a matter of getting organized, it’s training, it’s providing the resources bringing resources more than anything else,” Malagon said.

About Claudia Tristán

News Director    —    Journalism and Marketing double major, Class of 2013
Claudia works to cover current events and political issues that effect the Tech campus. She plans to return overseas as a foreign correspondent.

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