During interviews many of us are always asked the question,
“Why are you doing this?”
The answer is long, but very simple.
It goes something like this:
We have had to live our lives in a manner which makes us think our lives may be illegitimate. As we have learned in the past decade, that is not the case. We have seen a monumental generational shift between the way our parents and our generation sees our circumstances in this country. We have refused to live in the shadows of this society, to be used as scapegoats or to be used as pieces in the political game politicians love to play with our lives. Even though the majority of us were told, when we were children, to keep quiet about our immigration status, staying quiet is no longer acceptable. We cannot stand quietly by as this broken immigration system destroys families. Every day, fathers, mothers, students, aunts, uncles and friends are being deported under the Obama Administration. Every day my father or your mother could be pulled over by local law enforcement turned-immigration and be detained. Not only that, but be thrown in a cell for several months and then be deported. The federal program “Secure” Communities (or S-COMM) has extremely eroded public trust of police departments, and even though this program has come under fire for its results, which are not the desired results of “deport the worst of the worst”, it is still being pushed by the Obama Administration. DHS wants to have S-COMM implemented in EVERY county in the United States by 2013.
Apart from S-COMM and the 287(g) agreement, which makes local law enforcement departments into immigration officers, we are being used to make political points for favoring and opposing politicians. Our very own livelihoods and existence is being criminalized by SB1070-copycat laws. But we refuse to be used as pieces in a malevolent political game. We act upon the fact that all of us are human beings, human beings with rights. As well, those rights are violated everyday by the broken immigration system. Our families are separated and S-COMM, program which supposedly deports “the worst of the worst”, is deporting hard-working mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and other family members, as well as, friends. We cannot sit by and let this go on. We have to take a stand and assert our rights. Only we, the immigrant community, have the power to bring about the changes that, not only do we want but, are absolutely necessary.
The inaction of the federal government on Comprehensive Immigration Reform has left the immigrant youth desiring more, hopeless at times. But that is where GUYA came in. GUYA was created to hold politicians accountable, for the need of an independent organization that did not have to accommodate to the demands of NGO’s, and for the youth; the youth who feels extremely alone and marginalized in this country. GUYA is a grassroots movement for and by the immigrant youth. It is completely volunteer-run and a true grass-roots effort. The ripples, the movement created nationally so far by GUYA are accredited to many different people, because it is a true grass-roots movement when it belongs to the People.