MALDEF, NDLON, Jose Jose, Dolores Huerta and Dream Act Students Organized Phone-Banking Outreach Event to Urge Passage of Dream Act in Senate

LOS ANGELES, CA - This past Saturday, MALDEF partnered with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) as well as Dolores Huerta, José José and students from DREAM Team LA and the Orange County DREAM Team to organize a phone-banking outreach event to urge passage of the DREAM Act in the Senate. Over 60 undocumented DREAM Act college students and graduates made cell phone calls to elected officials throughout the day to urge support for the DREAM Act. Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta is now on Day 7 of her water-only fast in support of passage of the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act would provide a qualified path to citizenship for thousands of immigrant youth and young adults seeking to obtain a college degree or to serve in the U.S. Military, and who otherwise meet the conditions of the law. For the last decade, MALDEF and other organizations nationwide have pushed to transform the bi-partisan supported DREAM Act into a reality.

DREAM Act students like Carlos Amador feel that this dream is finally within reach:

"We have never been so close to pass the DREAM Act. Saturday's event shows the strength we have as a movement. We made hundreds of call on Saturday and we will continue to make them to ensure that the Senate passes this important bill."

To the DREAM Act students, José José gave these uplifting thoughts:

"Don't give up, remember the sacrifices of your parents and what they have done for you... Now what you do, you do for the future, and for your children..."

Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF, stated:

"Like MALDEF, Dolores Huerta and José José recognize the strength and character of the DREAM Act students and what they can contribute to our nation if provided the opportunity. That strength and character both demonstrates why the DREAM Act is a much-needed stimulus to our nation's continued development and why we can and will achieve enactment of this critical legislation."

Dolores Huerta, President of The Dolores Huerta Foundation and Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers of America, stated:

"Senator John McCain has associated himself with Cesar Chavez and his message for justice. So this is what the students who are fasting are saying to Senator McCain. 'Remember where you stood. You cannot associate yourself with Cesar Chavez and his life for justice and then turn your back on these students who are trying to get the DREAM Act.'"

Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, stated:

"Undocumented students have earned their right to stay in this country with full rights and equality. In the process, they've emerged as leaders of the immigrant rights movement, and they've overcome the regressive voices of the day and restored this country's proudest tradition as a nation of immigrants."

For more information about MALDEF's efforts to improve access to quality education for all children, please visit:

DREAM Team LA and the Orange County DREAM Team are organizations composed of immigrant students and supporters who strive for improved support for all talented, promising children and young adults seeking a quality education in the U.S., regardless of the student's immigration status.

Dream Team Los Angeles (DTLA) is an autonomous group of students and community members working toward the empowerment of immigrant youth and the passage of the DREAM Act. DTLA is led by undocumented students in Los Angeles who are undocumented and unafraid and have been organizing locally and nationally for the right to legalization of undocumented youth.

The Orange County Dream Team (OCDT) was born out of a community's profound need to help its talented undocumented youth obtain access to higher education. Established in 2004, the OCDT began with a small but diverse group of high school, college and university students united under a common goal of passing the DREAM and Student Adjustment Acts.

At present time, the OCDT has grown into a dedicated Organization and has gained support From several community organizations such as Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC #147), and Los Amigos de Orange County. We will continue to grow and strongly believe that all sectors of the Orange County Community will ultimately benefit from our accomplishments.

The mission of the National Day Laborer Organization Network is to improve the lives of day laborers in the U.S. visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund