DREAMer's clout increases in immigration debate
DREAMers are some undocumented youth who would have benefitted from the DREAM Act.
January 26th, 2013
09:00 AM ET

DREAMer's clout increases in immigration debate

By Mariano Castillo, CNN

(CNN) - When Erika Andiola's mother and brother were detained by immigration agents this month, she jumped to action.

She summoned the help of undocumented youths like herself, known as DREAMers, and within hours, immigration officials were flooded with dozens of phone calls.

Andiola's mother and brother were released.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the detention of the pair and their eventual release had nothing to do with Andiola's activism.

But that does not dampen her spirit. As far as she is concerned, the DREAMers snatched her mother from the brink of deportation.

"For us to get them to do that, it takes a lot of pressure," she said.

Her work, along with other DREAMers, has increasingly become a powerful voice shaping discussions on immigration reform, which President Obama has vowed to pass in his second term.

Dubbed DREAMers, their name is derived from the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which, if passed,  would have granted some undocumented immigrant youth legal status in return for attending college or joining the military.

In 2009, DREAMers knocked on doors and begged for support of the DREAM Act, a bill that would have provided a path to citizenship for certain youth who came to the United States as children and live in the country illegally.

Today, the movement  is enjoying a certain amount of clout. FULL POST