It was a long battle and, in the end, it was decided by just one vote.
This is how they did it.
Their parents brought them to the United States as children, and at some point in their adolescence they realized they were undocumented. Far from remaining quiet, they embraced their identity and came out fighting. They wanted to be recognized as what they are, a part of the United States. The problem is that they needed a piece of paper to prove it.
They came, the majority of them, from poor and violent countries. They learned English, and faced the risk of being returned to countries they know nothing about. But they also learned that mantra of U.S. culture: If you try hard, you can achieve anything.
Like their parents, they were at constant risk of deportation. Since the 2001 terrorist attack, the United States has become increasingly hostile to foreigners. The adults learned to remain silent, to become almost invisible, to survive. But the Dreamers quickly rejected that culture of silence and replaced it with one of activism, vocal and rebellious. In plain English, “in your face.” Mexico-born Erika Andiola, for example, confronted then-U.S. House Speaker John Boehner while he had breakfast at a Washington cafeteria. “The first step is always to lose the fear,” Erika declared much later.
TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, having provided more than 5,000 college scholarships to DREAMers at more than 70 partner colleges in 16 states and Washington, DC. We believe that all young Americans, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to get a college education and pursue a meaningful career that contributes to our country’s prosperity.