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Three days filled with actions took place in the past few weeks in Washington, DC. Each day was filled with the storytelling of directly impacted folks who have bravely fought for their rights in each of their respective states. Now, we have all joined forces yet again, as we have in years past, to demand a pathway to citizenship for all the 11 million people who currently reside in the United States. Decades of activism and sacrifice have culminated to this very point in history. Our gente are chanting, singing, dancing, and telling their stories in hopes that our elected officials listen to them instead of an unelected position whose opinion is simply that, an opinion. 

 

Our team went to DC and marched and chanted in an effort to have their voices transcend through the walls of the capitol and into the ears of the elected officials whose promises have fallen flat. Our team returned with a sense of anger and empowerment:

 

“It was both empowering and angering to be a part of the movement in the fight for citizenship for all. I saw many others doing the same as me. Walking miles in the sun, holding signs, loudly chanting while dehydrated. But we never gave up.

 

 It was sad because I know the politicians we were directing our chants to, were in an office with air conditioning or at home with their families, feeling secure. 

 

We work so hard to be heard but we’re being ignored right now.” -Kathia Sotelo Calderon, a DACA recipient who came to the states at the young age of just 7 years old. 

 

“Lobbying in Washington D.C. as an undocumented person gave me a sense of assertiveness, a right to have a public existence in a country that does not consider me part of its fabric, at least on paper. I have been living in the United States for 30 years and still do not have status. However, the impact of going to the capital of the United States of America will stay with me forever. 

 

And if in the process, we get something done, it won’t be because the governing powers wanted it, it will be because we organized and forced our government to fulfill our true needs.

 

It takes a lot of courage to come out of the shadows and tell the whole world that you are undocumented, it takes even more courage to get on a plane, travel over 2,000 miles, and demand to members of congress that they render you visible and fulfill their promise of providing citizenship for millions. That is agency.” -Rico Ocampo, a DACA recipient who came to the states at the young age of 3 years old. 

 

The fight won’t stop until our gente have access to a pathway to citizenship! Our people are fighting. Our people have fought for decades. They are true Americans. They are true champions. When the people rise up, the government trembles.

 

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How far have you gone to protect your family? How far would you travel? Who would you face to ensure that your children could spend another day with you?

Well, our gente has traveled miles. They have faced police and entire administrations to defend themselves and to fight for their neighbors. They have braved an entire country that criminalizes and dehumanizes them and their experiences to provide for their families on a daily basis. After so long, they continue. They continue to fight. They continue to raise their voices. They refuse to be defeated. 

This week the Parliamentarian ruled against creating a pathway to citizenship. With this ruling folks all over the political process believe that the fight for citizenship is over, but our gente does not take no for an answer. Our gente is taking to the streets of DC this week to welcome back congress after their recess. Their welcome consists of marches outside the capitol and around DC. Chants are ricocheting from the walls and windows of the capital city because our people can’t wait another year.  Our people are uniting across the country to fight for each other. To fight for security. To fight for their right to live a life of dignity and with respect. 

From Nevada, Rico, Lalo, Areli, and Marvin are joining their voices to the call for our elected officials to develop a new plan in which millions of people in the states have a path to citizenship.

Rico, a DACA recipient, a father, a husband, a friend, has dedicated his life to the cause, to organizing his community into participating in the political process to ensure that the political process truly reflects the interests of the people.

Lalo, a DACA recipient, a father, a friend, a partner, works day in and day out to ensure that his community has access to fair housing conditions and is treated fairly by their landlords while also fighting to educate the community on their rights.

Arieli, a mother, a partner, an immigrant, came to the states in search of safety. Her search for safety led her to a space where she can use her story and her voice to educate others and to advocate for a more inclusive and more secure future for everyone in her community.

Marvin, a friend, a son, an advocate, has used his voice in school board meetings and in demonstrations to advocate for the rights of students and their families. 

These powerful, educated, passionate voices are marching, demonstrating, and like Rep. John Lewis said, ‘getting into good trouble’ in DC. Their voices, their strength is a direct result of the support of the community. Nevada has a very large Latinx population and with that collective strength, they march on. From Nevada, we wish them peace, protection, and good vibes as they march for our rights. In Nevada, we will be cheering them on as they make history during Latinx Heritage Month. El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido! Si Se Puede!

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June is Immigrant Heritage Month—it’s important that we acknowledge the value of the immigrant experience and the importance of their contributions to our daily lives. Their stories are filled with strength and sacrifice in hopes of a better future for themselves and their descendants. Immigrants are brave and strong and they, unfortunately, face so many hurdles in pursuit of a better future. These hurdles were made abundantly clear at the start of the pandemic when Immigrants were excluded from federal financial help though they were actively working to maintain this country at a time where most folks could not work. They filled the supermarket shelves and picked the food we ate. As a result of their labor, they showed once again, how essential they are to the very fabric of our country and its functionality. Make the Road NV and our partners worked together to produce a report of how exactly the pandemic was impacting the immigrant community in Nevada and that report is available here

 

Our Immigrant community is actively trying to better this state and this nation to include them in relief now, and to be included in a direct pathway to citizenship. The immigration system is broken, this is no secret, but it is also incredibly difficult to navigate and can be frightening at times for families. In spite of there not being a pathway to citizenship, immigrants are involved members of society who advocate for their community and themselves. They teach others to love themselves and to not be afraid to speak up for themselves. Their stories are incredible. Our website has so many of these stories and we encourage you to take a minute and read them. They will not only bring you joy, but they will inspire you to join the fight for Immigrant Rights. As we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, remember their stories, and don’t forget to share yours.

 

Check out our new video in collaboration with PLAN NV.

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DACA has been a frequently visited topic this year, with new changes, developments, and attempts to dismantle it. The constantly change can be confusing and overwhelming. Luckily, Make the Road Nevada is watching closely the status of DACA and is communicating the updates to you in an easy to understand way. With that, there are some updates in relation to DACA: 

  • First-time DACA applications are being accepted
  • Renewals requests are being accepted 
  • Advanced parole returns to its original state and follows its original requirements
  • Renewals return to the two-year renewal period as well as employment authorization

For folks who received their documentation after July 28, 2020, USCIS will provide evidence of the one-year extensions to the DACAmented community. Our sister organization, Make the Road NY, was live on Monday from our Facebook page with helpful information. Watch the video here.

For helpful information on what you may need to apply for DACA, download our DACA resource guide here.

As always if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to amigxs@maketheroadnv.org 

 

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The People Affected

The subject of DACA is more than a piece of legislation, it is more than statistics, it is the stories of our friends and families whose struggle often gets criticized for having come to the states illegally. Those who do not qualify for DACA are left with an unnecessarily more difficult way to achieve citizenship and are excluded from an idea of ‘exceptional undocumented youth’. This idea of exceptionalism comes from the many requirements that a person must meet in order to qualify for the DREAM Act. These requirements include having at least a High School diploma, having no serious convictions, and being of ‘good moral character’. These requirements feed the narrative of the good versus the bad immigrant. These ideas and labels promote division among the immigrant community and create a false perception of the undocumented and documented immigrant community.

Our families and friends have DACA, others don’t, but either way, they are human and are deserving of respect and dignity. Their stories play an important role in the grander immigrant story. 

Audrey lives in Las Vegas and identifies as a DREAMer. For her, like many others, the term brought with it a sense of belonging in a world where she felt as though there was no place for her. Being born in another country and brought to the states as a young child she grew up in the states, lives in the states, has a life in the states, the states and life here are all she knows;

“ I don’t feel like an immigrant, this is my home, this my space, this is my culture, this is all I know, I’m not an immigrant. I don’t know anything else.”Audrey, DREAMer and Make the Road NV’s (MRNV) economic organizer.

For those who do not qualify for DACA, the reality is far more daunting as they have no protections against deportations, are left with a more difficult way to citizenship, have to find jobs willing to pay them in cash, and are oftentimes subject to abuse. Due to their fears of being deported, these abuses sometimes go unreported. This unfortunate reality is lived on a daily basis by many. An MRNV member identifies as undocumented and ‘feels as though there is a target on her back’. The term DREAMer to her reflects a dream that she doesn’t want to be her life. She wants it to be her reality, a path to citizenship, a safe job, a safe place for her family. 

DACAmented folks often are met with questions about their status and are criticized for not being a citizen. These questions may come with positive intentions, however, they produce emotions of frustration and of hopelessness as a result of the difficulty to navigate the immigration system,

“People have been fed an idea that [the immigration system] works and that it is a straight line to citizenship, but it isn’t.” Lalo Montoya, political director of MRNV, member of the DACAmented community.

When asked about what the documented community can do to help the fight for citizenship, Lalo “Be an agent of change with me [ I encourage you] to imagine a country that doesn’t yet exist. Fight with me to make it happen. I need to know that you are gonna shield me from deportation, that you are gonna be a part of the movement, [not] just be a bystander. I’m not asking you to lead [the movement], I’m asking you to [help] fuel it. Reimagine the country as what it should be. Don’t just watch it happen, be a part of it. Don’t feel that you can’t speak up because you are not directly impacted.”

DACA is in no way perfect, but it does alleviate some of the fears that come with being undocumented. Our community deserves to work in a safe environment, earn good wages, have equal access to help, and should be able to live without fear for what may come. Our families are not at fault for the lack of a path to citizenship. This week we want our DACAmented family to know that we hear you, we fight alongside you, and we will stand with you and before you in this fight to citizenship, this path to dignity and respect. Join our fight and consider donating to the DACA fund to help those in our community renew their DACA. 

Call to action for DACAmented community- urge those who can vote to vote, don’t give up, we are with you!

For info on immigrant justice and MRNV please contact us at amigxs@maketheroadnv.org 

To donate to the DACA fund:  http://bit.ly/DonateMRNV  

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A TRUE SOCIAL JUSTICE SPACE

On July 31st, The Youth Power Project (YPP) hosted Gen Z VoiceZ, an open-mic Facebook Live event where youth between 14-21 showcased their talents in an empowering way.

The night featured energetic performances that shared, expressed, and set the tone for the night. The performances varied from singing, dancing, and different variations of poetry.

 

“I am here talking to you today because I am appalled by the countless black lives that have been taken at the hands of police brutality in this country that claims to be equal and free,” said YPP member Amy Chen during her spoken performance. She also mentioned the names and stories of Black Americans killed by U.S. police, including the recent tragic shooting of Breonna Taylor, who was shot 22 times while she was at home sleeping. 

 

The show demonstrated the impact that these terrible events have on our youth and how Generation Z is refusing to sit back and not voice their concerns. The open mic served as an excellent avenue to let their voices resonate in the fight for social justice.

 

Not only was this event fun and informative, but it was a statement about how our youth holds an enormous amount of resilience and power. It was a refreshing experience to see so much hope and positivity. 

 

If you’d like to learn more about YPP or become a member of YPP, please visit our website at: http://bit.ly/MRNVypp

 

Watch the full live event here: https://bit.ly/2DlYPPVOICEZ

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The Supreme Court decided that the current administration’s attempt to dismantle DACA and its protections was unlawful and struck it down. This victory for the DACAmented community has given us hope and drive to continue the fight for a clear road to citizenship. With this decision, renewals are being accepted, however, with this ruling the fees to do so may rise from the current price of $495. Many folks have lost their jobs and thus renewing the DACA of their children may be out of reach. Given this reality, we ask that you consider donating to our LV Dream Fund to help alleviate the pressures of financial hardship felt in these trying circumstances by our DACAmented families. All of the funds will be used to pay for fees related to renewing and applying for DACA.  http://bit.ly/MRNVdonate

 

Make The Road Nevada fights for social justice. We stand with immigrants, the DACAmented, the undocumented, the LGBTQIA+ community, the Black community, and the working class. We stand with every community that faces injustices and we fight for our Nevadan community to become a better, more inclusive, and respectful community. Join us in our fight for equality and justice! Follow us on any of our social platforms.

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Every Monday and Thursday for the past few weeks, DACA recipients wake to the possibility that they will lose their protected status due to the pending Supreme Court decision. As another Monday passes, the uncertainty continues for DACA recipients. Ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program now would leave many mixed-status families at risk during this COVID-19 pandemic. Not delaying a decision so life-altering as this is unjust. 

Aside from putting families at danger, a decision has the probability of cutting the job authorization of 700,000. Many DACA recipients are frontline, essential workers, putting their lives on the line for everyone else. DACA recipients make up 27,000 of the health care workers in the US that are helping combat COVID-19. During this time of crisis, adding status uncertainty on top of everything is the last thing we need right now. Deportation shouldn’t be on anyone’s mind while dealing with potential job loss or loss of a family member. Those fears intensified after reports of ICE continuing raids during shelter-in-place orders and other reports of ICE having a database of DACA recipients’ personal information. 

While we wait for the decision, DACA recipients should continue to renew their DACA as soon as possible. Despite the COVID-19 related closing of the USCIS offices, they will process applications using past biometrics.

If you need help filling out the application, we have people on staff who can help you. In addition, we also have our Las Vegas DREAM Fund, where you can donate and help us give out scholarships to cover the renewal fees. Please reach out to us at amgixs@maketheroadnv.org to see how we can support you.

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HELP US REACH OUR GOAL OF $1000 BY DONATING TODAY!


Our goal for this year’s #GivingTuesday is to be able to raise enough money to pay for two
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal application fees. The cost to renew our DREAMers application is a $495 fee. A substantial amount for any person much less a working student. Giving Tuesday is happening on Dec 2nd, but why wait? You can donate now at: http://bit.ly/mrnvgive2019

DACA allows the recipients to be able to continue their education, obtain a work permit so that they are able to provide for themselves and their families, and most importantly, it gives them the opportunity to stay in the place they call home for another two years. Our immigrant youth are at risk of deportation and for most of the 700,000 beneficiaries, this is the only country they know.


This holiday season, while you gather around with your loved ones, give someone else that same opportunity. Families belong together today and every day. Donate to our DACA renewal scholarship fund now and let DREAMers know that they belong here. You can donate at our #GivingTuesday page here: http://bit.ly/mrnvgive2019

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CORRECTION: Current cost of a DACA renewal fee as of 11.19.19 is $495 NOT $496.

November 16, 2019 – On Saturday, Make the Road NV(MRNV) and partners from the Nevada Immigrant Coalition(NIC) prepared for a DACA Renewal Clinic. This DACA clinic was part of an effort with FWD.us and The Informed Immigrant coalition to help DACA recipients extend their protection amidst the Supreme Court case discussed on Tuesday, November 12. We were able to provide 30 DACA renewal scholarships to helped ease the $495 burden that families struggle to pay for every two years.

The Dreamers that came to the Clinic were first helped by filling out their applications and gather the documents required for the process. From there, they were sent our volunteer photographers who provided either free or reduced-priced passport pictures for the Dreamers, another hidden cost in the process. The next stop was with an immigration lawyer who went over their applications and answer any potential questions the beneficiary had. Lastly, they were given copies of all their documents and vouchers were given to those that received the scholarship. Thanks to our volunteers’ efforts, the 40 DACA recipients can keep living their lives in the place they call home, for many the only home they know. 

In Nevada alone, DACA recipients make $15.8 million in mortgage payments a year.

Being able to provide this service to the community of DACA recipients was critical at a time when the future of the program and the 700,000 beneficiaries and their families is at stake. The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision about DACA between January 2020 and June 2020, in the meantime, it is important to support DACA recipients and uplift their stories, and their contributions to our country. DREAMers are homeowners, teachers, and leaders in our community. In Nevada alone, DACA recipients make $15.8 million in mortgage payments a year. These Dreamers are vital to our community and economy, leaving them without protection and a way to earn an income would result in disastrous effects in the country. 

 

 

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Thank you to FWD.US and the Informed Immigrant team for supporting the clinic, and thank you to our partners in the Nevada Immigrant Coalition for putting in the work needed to bring this service to our community. A massive thanks to AILA NV and the attorneys that volunteered their time, Enedina Dorsey Kassamanian, Mayra Salinas, Sarah Perez, Romero Mario, and Hardeep Dee Sull.

If you have DACA please renew as soon as possible, if you don’t you can help a Dreamer stay in their home, donate to our DACA renewal scholarship fund here. To stay informed on the latest on the DACA case, upcoming clinics and other immigration related issues, make sure to come to our weekly meetings, Tuesdays at 6:30pm and Wednesday at 6:00pm. For more information, contact us at amigxs@maketheroadnv.org

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