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Central Valley | Education & Student Activism | Immigrant Rights

Support the Dream Act Rally in Fresno
by Mike Rhodes ( editor [at] fresnoalliance.com )
Friday Nov 19th, 2010 3:47 PM
A rally in support of the Dream Act was held in the Free Speech Area at CSU-Fresno. Photo below is Associated Student president at CSUF, Pedro Ramirez speaking at the rally.

Support the Dream Act Rally in Fresno

Hundreds of students and community activists held a rally today (November 19) at CSU-Fresno in support of the Dream Act. The rally was prompted by media reports that Associated Student president at CSUF, Pedro Ramirez, was undocumented. The news about Ramirez’s immigration status was first reported earlier this week in the CSUF Collegian newspaper and later on MSNBC, the BBC, and other national and international media outlets.

The rally in the free speech area was disrupted by Tea Party activists who tried to gain media attention by reading a statement, just before the rally was to begin. Corporate media at the event swarmed around the Tea Party members, but soon the crowd began chanting and reporters lost interest in the impromptu press conference being held by the Tea Party. The 10-15 Tea Party members were far outnumbered by the 100's of Dream Act supporters.

Speakers at the rally were mostly undocumented students who gave their personal stories about how their immigration status has affected them. Also included as a speaker was CSUF president John Welty who said “it’s time to pass the Dream Act.”

Organizers of the event skillfully turned revelations about Pedro Ramirez into an opportunity to mobilize students in support of the Dream Act at a time when it is being discussed in Congress. They urged rally participants to contact their Congressional representatives to pass the Dream Act*, which will give undocumented students the ability to complete their education.

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*Definition of the Dream Act, from Wikipedia < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Act >: The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (The "DREAM Act") is a piece of proposed federal legislation in the United States that was first introduced in the United States Senate on August 1, 2001[1] and most recently re-introduced there and the United States House of Representatives on March 26, 2009. This bill would provide certain inadmissible or deportable alien students who graduate from US high schools, who are of good moral character, arrived in the U.S. as minors, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning. The alien students would obtain temporary residency for a six year period. Within the six year period, a qualified student must have "acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the United States," or have "served in the uniformed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge."[2] Military Enlistment contracts require an eight year commitment.[3] "Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated [according to the terms of the Act] shall return to the immigration status the alien had immediately prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status under this Act." [4]
§There were 100's of Students at the Rally
by Mike Rhodes Friday Nov 19th, 2010 3:47 PM

All photos by Mike Rhodes
§Supporters of the Dream Act
by Mike Rhodes Friday Nov 19th, 2010 3:47 PM

§Participants Got Fired Up!
by Mike Rhodes Friday Nov 19th, 2010 3:47 PM

§Tea Party Members Tried to Disrupt the Rally
by Mike Rhodes Friday Nov 19th, 2010 3:47 PM


§Flier of the Event
by Mike Rhodes Friday Nov 19th, 2010 3:47 PM