A Great Start for Immigration in 2014 - A DREAMer Just Won a Grammy

gold-cup-1413116-m.jpgDuring the recent public discussions about the need for comprehensive immigration reform, one group of foreign nationals has been talked about more than any other - the hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and identify as American in every way but legally. This group, often referred to as DREAMers after the DREAM Act bill which would give them the opportunity to become U.S. citizens, are comprised of hopeful doctors, lawyers, teachers, and entrepreneurs who are still waiting for Congress to pass reform legislation that would enable them to finally make their American dream a reality.

Since DREAMers have been projected into the media spotlight, many of these foreign nationals have taken bold steps to achieve their goals even when their immigration status presents insurmountable hurtles. Once such DREAMer, Mr. Sergio Garcia, was recently in the limelight because the Supreme Court of California ruled that, notwithstanding his undocumented status in the U.S., Mr. Garcia could be admitted to the bar and practice law in the state of California.

Mr. Garcia's victory is certainly heartening for the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers in the country. Recently, another victory was had when the band La Santa Cecilia won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Alternative Album. The group has been nicknamed "the voice of immigrants" and one of its members, Mr. Jose Carlos, is a DREAMer. Mr. Carlos is a recipient of the Obama Administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which suspends deportation proceedings for undocumented foreign nationals who were brought to the U.S. as children and who possess a heightened level of education and a clean criminal record.

The group became active in the immigration reform debate upon the release of their song "El Hielo," which is Spanish for "the ice." The song is a play on words of the U.S. agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which is tasked with enforcing the nation's immigration laws, in particular initiating deportation proceedings. The song chronicles and describes the deplorable conditions of ICE detention centers and the horrible process that is deportation. After the award ceremony, Mr. Carlos stated that the group dedicated the Grammy to the estimated 11 million undocumented foreign nationals currently residing in the country and that he is anxiously looking forward to Congress passing immigration reform that would allow him to one day become a legal U.S. citizen.

La Santa Cecilia's Grammy Award is certainly indicative of the talent and gifts the undocumented DREAMer population has to offer the United States. Hopefully Congress will pass comprehensive immigration reform soon, but until that time DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants need to be mindful of the risks involved in staying in the U.S. without legal status. If you are in the U.S. without legal immigration status and want to attend a university, pursue employment, or travel, contact our office at 650-293-0270 to speak to a member of our legal team about your case and immigration options.

Additional Blog Posts

USCIS Announces Provisional I-601 Waiver, Silicon Valley Immigration Lawyer Blog, January 16, 2013
New Obama Directive to Aid Parents in Deportation Proceedings, Silicon Valley Immigration Lawyer Blog, August 13, 2013

Immigration News / by Michelle Gee