In the first of a series of videos to be released by the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA), Lizbeth Mateo, an undocumented organizer from California, reveals she has left the United States to see her family in Oaxaca, Mexico. It is the first time she has seen her family in over 15 years. Lizbeth and other organizers will return at a border crossing next week to protest the United States’ inhumane immigration laws and the Obama administration’s massive deportation machine that separates families. From the press release:
Leaders of the undocumented youth movement in the United States have crossed the border into Mexico, and plan to turn themselves in alongside ‘DREAMers’ who left the United States at a border crossing next week. With applications for legal status in hand, they will demand to be allowed to return home to the United States.
Leaders currently in Mexico include Lizbeth Mateo of Los Angeles, CA and Lulu Martinez of Chicago, IL. Both have been living in the United States since before the age of 16, making them eligible for the DREAM Act and deferred action. “Last year they went after my uncle and he was deported, said Mateo. “What our family went through is what millions have gone through and it needs to stop. This administration needs to know we won’t wait for congress to do the right thing.”
Today as Congress grapples with what to do with the 11 million undocumented people living in the United States, 1,100 people will be deported, 1,100 families will be separated and 1,100 dreams will be shattered. These youth leaders have decided that their families and communities cannot wait for Congress to act. In four days a real debate on immigration reform will begin.