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Released 29 March 2007  By Somos Raza


Somos Raza
March 1, 2007

Today March 1, 2007 there was an announcement that the Dream Act will be
re-introduced, by representatives Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Howard Berman (D-CA),
and Royal Allard (D-CA) and in the senate Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Hagel
(R-NE), and Richard Lugar (R-IN) also announced that they will introduce the
DREAM Act within the next couple of days.

This measure is supposed to offer citizenship to "immigrant" students with
conditions, but we must read between the fine lines what this measure really
proposes is just another poverty draft in our communities.

When this measure was first introduced five years ago, many of us supported
it, because we fundamentally believe that everyone has the right to an
education, what has changed since then is that:

1). “Immigrant” students will be able to pay in-state tuition fees, but NOT
have access to federal funding (loans, financial aid, etc.). Given the rise
in cost of a college education (even at the community college level), and
stringent college admission requirements this will limit many in our
community to pursue an education because most students need to work to
support their families and DO NOT have the economic means to go to college.

2). Military service substituted the original proposal of community service
We are well aware that the majority of our youth will opt for this choice
due to their economic reality, this is why we call the “DREAM” Act for
whatit is a poverty draft/Surge Act. Our youth will be forced to fight
unjust wars and risk their lives for citizenship.

We are aware that neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties have the
interest of the Mexican and Latino Americano working class communities in
mind, and this is why we say NO to the DREAM Act and YES to a legalization
process without conditions and the unconditional right to an education and
access to higher learning institutions!

We make a call to all progressive youth, student, and community
organizations to join us in the struggle to denounce legislation that will
force us to fill the rank and file of the U.S. Military. Don’t Join the
Military, join Somos Raza in opposing this piece of dangerous legislation by
signing on to the the statement below. Organize and unite with the interests
of our community!

In solidarity & in struggle,
Somos Raza

Somos Raza
youth project of Union del Barrio
P.O. Box 620095
San Diego, CA 92162

SOMOS RAZA STATEMENT: Our dream shall not be a nightmare!

Thursday March 1, 2007

Exactly one year ago, when the spring of 2006 was beginning, we the youth
and students of San Diego, along with hundreds and thousands of other youth
and students from various communities, barrios, towns, and cities in the
United States took to the streets to denounce, protest, chant, and demand
that the US government not criminalize our parents, organizations, and

It was with our rebelliousness, joy, and strength that we joined the
vehement outcry of our parents and migrant workers against HR4437, so that
our dignity will no longer be trampled on.

We walked out of our classrooms wearing our school uniform, carrying our
national flags, with our backpack on our shoulders, and books under our arms
to demand dignity and respect!

Our destination was Chicano Park, the heart of our community in San Diego,
because the Park is a symbol of our struggle, of justice, and the
self-determination of our people. That spring was a season of hope, and it
was then that our voices said: Enough is Enough!

Thousands of us marched through the streets of our city even though they
told us we were wrong, and we continued to demand dignity and respect when
we were intimidated by school administrators and harassed by the police.
Through these intense times we were able to unite and organize one of the
biggest marches ever seen in the city of San Diego, led by us the youth and
students in solidarity with our parents that also demanded dignity and
respect that was our season of hope.

We know that there will be many more of those springs to come that will
blossom new struggles.

In 2001, when the DREAM ACT was proposed, we the youth and students
supported this measure because we believe that every student has the right
to an education and that no document can deny us that right.

Also in 2001 the US government declared a war against the Arab and Muslim
communities. A little later a war was also declared against the Mexican and
Latin American communities and soon after this the war also reached
Afghanistan and Iraq where millions of innocent women, men, and children
have been killed as a result of this unjust and illegal war. Not only was an
unjust war launched thousands of miles away, but we were dragged to these
remote lands where U.S. bombs and bullets fall and we are used as cannon

Little by little the same congress representatives that sent us to “fight”
an illegal and unjust war began to criminalize our parents, they approved an
expansion of the border that divides our land, and put conditions on our
right to an education. They tell us that we can attend a higher learning
institution and receive citizenship, but they deny us access to federal
grants. They also say that in exchange for military service and going to
fight a war we can attain citizenship, but it is most probable that we get
it once our bodies are in coffins.

There are many who want to negotiate in our name, but we have already stated
our demands during our season of hope, our message was clear: ˇEnough is
Enough! We do not need intermediaries, we do not need them to give us a
voice, because we have spoken, listen to us know! Those who propose the
DREAM ACT tell us with all the arrogance in the world that this is our only
option to obtain citizenship.

Community youth and student led organizations will not permit that our dream
turn into a nightmare.

We the undersigned organizations declare that:

1. The fundamental right to an education is not negotiable.
2. No government can force us to go to war in exchange for citizenship.
3. We are opposed to forced military and war service.

4. We propose a just and dignified immigration policy that will not
negotiate our rights and dignity as a people.
5. We propose an immigration policy that will demilitarize the border.
6. We propose an immigration policy that will liberate our mothers, fathers,
sisters, brothers and families currently held in immigration detention
7. We propose an immigration policy that will put an end to the raids in our

We the undersigned youth and student led organizations do not recognize the
measures that congress tries to impose on us without consulting with us, and
without a dialogue. We are opposed to a DREAM ACT that will send us to war
forcibly. You do not speak in our name. Our dream will not be a nightmare!
And many more Springs of struggle will come.

I am not the Army!
Our right to an education is not negotiable!
Our dream shall not be a nightmare!

Endorsing Organizations:

Coordinadora Estudiantil de la Raza (Los Angeles)
MEChA San Diego State University
MEChA San Diego City College
Raza Rights Coalition (San Diego & Los Angeles)
Committee on Raza Rights (Oxnard)

To endorse, please send an e-mail to: Somos Raza

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