Category Archives: Politics

Illegality and the Dream Act

I’ve talked about my immigration story before and how important it is to get the Dream Act passed. In the weekend NYT there is a story continuing a series of articles on immigrations covering a family whose parents are both illegal, and whose oldest daughter graduated from college with no where to go due to her illegal status. Their younger son was born here and is automatically a citizen and a bit unappreciative of the gift of legality. I read the article again this morning and nearly balled in the kitchen sympathizing with this girl (who must be near my age) and her frustrations, the inability to progress and find a salaried job with benefits and insurance, to be granted scholarships and loans to go to any other schools than CUNYs, to not have to be pressured to get married for citizenship, to be able to travel and drive without fear of being caught and deported. And we are educated folk. My skin color is the only difference between me and the all american white girl. I have no accent, I am educated and am getting by doing whatever it is I want, thank you very much. I have a tax ID number which is granted for those without social security numbers that allows them to work only as freelancers and pay taxes. So, I pay taxes, hundreds of dollars worth, but receive NO BENEFITS. NOTHING comes out of that tax money I give to the government.

Sigh. What a tearful moment to start a day.

I’m getting all surged up again about the importance and necessity to get the Dream Act passed. With the economy flunking and the global market disintegrating before our eyes I highly doubt immigration will be an issue for quite some time. Which does make me anxious and forces me to consider getting married and falling “in love” ASAP. Any contenders?

You can read more stories and the status of the Dream Act and the possibilty of it being passed at Change.org and the DA portal.

I’m hoping soon to gather some people or join those already gathered raising awareness of this Act around the city and Brooklyn and perhaps sign petitions and what not. Maybe have a bake sale and bbq and concert to benefit Dream Act. Sigh.

3 Comments

Filed under Politics

“The World Must Change. And We Must Change With It.”

In case you missed it for some godforsaken inexplicable reason.

Plus the new white house website is awesome and informative. Will be added to reader.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics

Obama + MLK Mash Up

I’m choking with tears.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics

The Dream Act

Nearly a year ago I had a epiphany, I thought it was my calling. I wanted to create an advocacy group to support passage of the Dream Act. Its been a year since I came up with this momentous idea and I haven’t started squat. I’ve done some nonchalant research and found a few resources that gather and support this very act and was discouraged to start my own venture on this crucial topic. Here is the downlow.

My story:

I was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to NY when I was 6 with a visitors visa that expired in 1994. My parents never took the responsibility to renew my visa which resulted in my not being to apply for a permit at 16, apply for college after high school, apply for a full time salaried job. Upon turning 21 I was deemed/doomed an independent and had to fend my undocumented status on my own. I carried much anger and bitterness against this governmental system and even more upon my parents for not realizing the dire consequences of their idiotic laziness and ignorance. I am getting heating just thinking about it. City universities were the only schools that would accept undocumented students, not to mention I was not qualified for financial aid, loans, or scholarships. I was admitted to Hunter where I received a very mediocre education and worked with a tax id # that only allowed me to work on a independent contractor basis. Many companies denied my resume, not because I wasn’t qualified, some were heartbroken with being unable to hire me, but because I didn’t have a social security number which prevents my being able to receive health insurance and W2 status. I’ve worked a few odd jobs and some companies took the risk of hiring me full time as a freelancer which if audited they could be heavily fined. I attempted sponsorship with a company, who only fucked me over in their hesitance to reveal tax papers, and also attempted marriage which was just plain complicated. It broke my soul to think the easiest fastest way to receive legal status was through marriage, the idea of giving into an institution of bondage and permanence was too much to bear. I’ve never traveled outside of NY minus brief road trip to Minnesota and train ride to Miami for the art fair. I’ve never lived in any state, and have never left the country. If I leave, I won’t be admitted for another 10 years as punishment. I’ve developed all sorts of phobias and nervous ticks, manifested by my feeling repressed and trapped, helpless and imprisoned. I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive my parents for this douchbaggery, no matter how much I try to come to peace with it.

But. I have found contentment and quite honestly there is nowhere else I’d rather be than right here, right now, doing what I do whenever I do them. Mind you I would be a completely different person if things were otherwise but I’ve survived. I’ve found my niche in the artosphere and blogosphere and things are working in ways that keep me hopeful and productive. Obama is a few days away from being inaugurated and I can sigh a deep sigh of relief knowing he will work on having the Dream Act passed. What is the Dream Act you ask? Well, a brief excerpt from change.org:

The problem: Many American students graduate from college and high school each year, and face a roadblock to their dreams: they can’t drive, can’t work legally, can’t further their education, and can’t pay taxes to contribute to the economy just because they were brought to this country illegally by their parents or lost legal status along the way. It is a classic case of lost potential and broken dreams, and the permanent underclass of youth it creates is detrimental to our economy. Former Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has said: “In short, although these children have built their lives here, they have no possibility of achieving and living the American dream. What a tremendous loss for them, and what a tremendous loss to our society.”

The solution: The federal DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act), is a bipartisan legislation that would permit these students conditional legal status and eventual citizenship granted that they meet ALL the following requirements:
–if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16, are below the age of 30,
–have lived here continuously for five years,
–graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained a GED
–have good moral character with no criminal record and
–attend college or enlist in the military.

Why should you care? There is no other pathway to citizenship for these students. Besides the injustice of punishing children for the alleged transgressions of their parents, throwing away the talent we have invested in from K-12 and accruing losses in human and financial capital by deporting talented students is bad public policy. The Social Security Administration has recently stated that we need a net increase of 100,000 immigrants each year to ensure Social Security solvency. Passing the DREAM Act would actually help solve the Social Security crisis by creating a larger taxable base of educated Americans that are already in the United States. It would also free some of the backlog that currently plagues the legal immigration system. Also, the DREAM Act in its latest form, does not grant in-state tuition to any student.

Folks over at DreamActivist.org have been working their asses off to have the Dream Act be one of top ten ideas to present to Obama for change. I wasn’t as helpful for this cause as I wanted to be in the last year, but it looks like folks are running it smoothly without me. But I contend I will do what I can now to further enlighten this movement and work to have the Dream Act passed. I’m thinking of launching a website with youtube interviews of victims such as I to share their story and hold events, auctions, petition signings and the likes to promote this law.

What can you do to help? Spread the word, and vote for this issue at Change.gov

4 Comments

Filed under Politics

SHOE ATTACK!!!

check this out: sockandawe

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Generation O

Generation O

I am proud to be a member of Generation O, to be part of a community based on internet networking publicizing the nooks and crannies of private life. Obama has taken the internet and its gadgets to a new level of presidential campaigning and presiding. For FDR it was fireside chats, for JFK it was the tee vee, for Obama its Facebook. I’m comforted knowing he is supportive of my generation, that he’s quick and smart enough to be up to date with us cool kids and can generate support from all of us.

His new site: change.gov

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Health Care System Needs Serious Fixing

There is an article in yesterday’s NYT “Deported in a Coma, Saved Back in the US” that had me covering my face and weeping, again. It tells the story of LEGAL immigrants who have been injured and required constant care but aren’t registered for health insurance. These critically ill humans are consequently chucked around from hospital to hospital then eventually deported without care or instruction. Its a rippling effect of a system that just does not work. 4.5 million are uninsured, including me and many of my friends. If god forbid I were in some freak accident and not being registered for insurance and barely a legal immigrant, I would be fucked. Of course hospitals are not all to blame. It is lack of government financing, health care bureaucracy AND hospital negligence.

“There is only limited federal financing for these fragile patients, and no governmental oversight of what happens to them. Instead, it is left to individual hospitals, many of whom see themselves as stranded at the crossroads of a failed immigration policy and a failed health care system, to cut through a thicket of financial, legal and ethical concerns.

That creates a burden. “It’s a killer,” said Brian Conway, spokesman for the Greater New York Hospital Association. But it also establishes the potential for neglectful and unethical if not illegal behavior by hospitals.”

There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in this country, majority of them working rigorous physically intensive jobs and they are bound to get hurt. Even if it were just some freak car accident, they are not given any attention, no choice for treatment since they are not insurance and sure as cannot afford proper care. There must be a way to fix this. Fix immigration first. Obama wants to require illigal immigrants to pay a fine, learn english and go to the back of the line. That’s fine, but provide education and health care so they can be smart and healthy and assimiliate properly in a country that is supposed to provide opportunity, safety and prosperity.

There must be a resolution and there are some hospitals working to oppose forced repatriation of patients. I just wonder what else can be done, some sort of private insurance for illegal immigrants? I guess that just dodges the need to first become legal, asap.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics