Tuesday - Jul 23, 2019

Students’ fast for the D.R.E.A.M Act came to an end

from the El Reportero staff

Hunger strike for educationThree of a group of 26 students, rest in front of the SF City Hall during a seven-day hungry strike protest to ask Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to support and act in favor of the D.R.E.A.M. Act, which will allow undocumentes students to pay and receive resident’s fees and benefits. (Photos by Marvin J. Ramírez).Adelia SánchezAdelia Sánchez

Eight days have past, and the students fasting for the D.R.E.A.M. Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) survived.

During the week-long fast, students from the California Dream Network have delivered the message that they refuse to give up hope. On July 9, students, parents, community leaders, education and immigration advocates from across the state gathered at San Francisco Civic Center Plaza to announce the end of the event.

“Till now, the office of Nancy Pelosi has hesitated in taking action … this hungry strike has been specifically focused at her to take action as a leader of the Congress,” said Adelia Sánchez, from the Coalition for Immigrant Rights. “I know we are facing a very challenging  year, but I very positive and have no doubt that we are and will receive the respect that we deserve as a community.”

This statewide fast, organized by college and university immigrant student groups that form the California Dream Network, was aimed at urging Speaker of the House Pelosi to move forward on immigration reform that includes the bipartisan federal D.R.E.A.M. Act, which would provide a path towards citizenship for undocumented youth.

On July 2, over 26 campus members held a one-day fast at four locations: Santa Ana, Pasadena, Bakersfield and San Jose, then moved in a caravan from each location to join the fast in San Francisco on July 5.

The current immigration laws, which set high assessments to higher education for undocumented students, are major obstacles for those youth trying to obtain legal status for college and the military. But with the Senate recently failing to move forward a viable immigration reform bill, the students must depend on the House of Representatives where Congressional leaders still have an opportunity to demonstrate their leadership.

Despite the unfriendly statement by a media personality, saying “let them fast until they starve to death then that solves the problem,” students have been fasting successfully for eight days, from July 2nd to 9th, in the hope of pursuing a college education and building a better future. Now the fast has ended, but the momentum continues, read a statement.