ODA listens to our community and this is what deported and returning youth in Mexico are demanding for their futures in Mexico and in the United States.
We often feel "ni de aquí, ni de allá," invisible in both countries, but we are standing up and demanding recognition and rights.
We advocate online and off for the rights of transnational, multilingual, and multicultural people in Mexico and the United States. Invite us to your campus, church, or community to share our stories. If we can’t come in person, we can schedule a virtual teach-in.
We are still Dreamers in Mexico. We recognize that the term "Dreamer" originally refers to the proposed but failed DREAM Act that would have benefited a limited number of immigrant youth in the US. For ODA, the term "Dreamer" connects us to our roots in the US and the struggle for immigrant rights there, while it also reminds us that dreams do not end at the border. We dream of a safer, stronger Mexico. We dream of families re-united. Our dreams are our struggle, and we dream of recognition for all of us who choose to live as binational citizens with the right to education, employment, and well being in the home of our choice.
Life, love and struggle continue after deportation. Some of the changes we know our community needs are:
- Repeal the automatic bans and deportation measures legalized in the 1996 immigration law (IIRIRA) with clear provisions for erasing unjust bans, reuniting families, and bringing deported and returned people home.
- Establish scholarship programs at key universities in the US that support bilingual, bicultural students in Mexico to return and study in the US, including support for the process to obtain their student visa (with a waiver if needed).
- Target bilingual and bicultural youth ALREADY in Mexico due to deportation or return for study abroad and professional development programs in Mexico.
- Demand transparency and non-discriminatory practices from the US Embassy in Mexico.
- Create awareness and anti-discrimination campaigns about immigrants and multicultural peoples in Mexico, especially in Mexico's public schools.
- Create more viable employment alternatives to bilingual call centers.
Immigration is criminalized in the US and Mexico. We want binational policies that send us to high school and college not to detention centers, jails, and exile. Some of the changes we propose are:
- Reform the laws, policies, and budgets that criminalize immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and countries around the globe.
- Establish scholarship programs at key universities in Mexico that are designed to attract and support returning and deported bilingual students.
- Facilitate entrance exams for public universities (UNAM, Politécnico, etc) in Mexican consulates for immigrant youth in the United States.
- Publish and disseminate information about the NEW guidelines for the revalidation of US high school education.
- Facilitate the process to obtain a high school degree in Mexico with an equivalent to the GED, an exam that is accepted in the US and Canada.
- Reform the laws and regulations that mandate a 75% equivalency of a university degree for the revalidation of undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mexico.