Things That Matter

The DREAM Act Has Been Reintroduced And It May Have A Winning Chance This Time

In a year marked by increased raids, travel bans, and repeated threats to DACA, the bipartisan reintroduction of the DREAM Act stands as a small victory for immigrant rights groups. While its passage is not certain, its chances are far from hopeless if immigrant communities continue to engage allies.

Senator Dick Durbin first introduced the DREAM Act in 2001 to create a multi-step path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who, like me, arrived as minors. It would allow long-term residents who entered the country as minors to apply for conditional permanent residency and eventually citizenship if they first meet certain educational, military, or employment requirements.

Opponents of the DREAM Act argue that it would inspire a wave of illegal border crossings. This is a myth. Only those who can prove that they entered before the age 18 and had been continuously present in the United States for at least four years prior to the date of enactment would be eligible for conditional residency. The DREAM Act is also not amnesty. The path to citizenship would take at least thirteen years. I would be 40 years old when I could naturalize.

In 2010, the DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives but failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate. This time we can get it through. Assuming full Democratic support, we need at least nine additional Republican votes to avoid a filibuster. That number is not out of reach if we consider that seven current Republican Senators voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, and two others support legislation protecting DACA recipients from deportation.

Its prospects in the House of Representatives are dire than in the Senate, but not hopeless. A major obstacle in the House is that many congressional districts lack sufficient immigrant presence, making it easier for representatives to vote against the bill. Although Latino and Asian Americans tend to have a more recent connection to immigration, a poll conducted by Global Strategy Group shows that a majority of Americans support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Dreamers alone cannot push Congress to act. We also need allies to do so, especially in states like Pennsylvania where immigrants do not comprise a significant electorate. Allies add financial resources and electoral power to our movement. I have been encouraged by the support I have encountered across the state from people not directly impacted by the failures of our immigration system. It is our responsibility to educate and mobilize them. Failing to do so is tantamount to malpractice.

What about President Trump, the man who built his political career on promises of merciless enforcement? Despite opposition from his base, Trump has softened his stance on DREAMers and has yet to end DACA, a discretionary policy allowing DREAM Act eligible youth to temporarily live and work in the United States.

DACA made it possible for me to complete two graduate degrees, to pursue opportunities abroad, and find employment that I am passionate about. Its full impact, however, is more subtle. I feel it every time I drive past a police car knowing I am licensed to drive, or when I don’t stress about what to put on under Social Security in an application, or when I confidently advocate for the rights of my community.

Now DACA is once again under threat. Passing the DREAM Act would provide us a path to citizenship and with it a level of security that DACA cannot. Our futures will no longer be at the mercy of the courts or whoever occupies the White House.

Our community won DACA because we organized and fearlessly shared our stories with America. As we continue to build our power, let us reject language that denigrates our parents for doing their best for us. They have in many cases sacrificed their dreams and well being so that we may realize ours. Accepting a rhetoric that absolves us while convicting our parents for bringing us to this country makes us accomplices in their continued marginalization. Let us move forward without exploiting their struggle for our benefit.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra is a graduate of Amherst and Cambridge Universities and currently works for the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition (PICC).

READ: Judge Says Immigration Officials Didn’t Follow Protocol With DREAMer Jessica Colotl

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Demi Tweeted That ‘One Day, She’d Sing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl’ And Guess Who’s Singing This Year

Entertainment

Demi Tweeted That ‘One Day, She’d Sing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl’ And Guess Who’s Singing This Year

ddlovato / Instagram

Demi Lovato announced that she will be singing the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV, so it’s safe to say that her year is off to a pretty good start. But what’s even more interesting though, is that somehow, someone unearthed a tweet from 2010 in which the singer said she would “one day” sing the national at the Super Bowl —and we’re obsessed with this full-circle moment, but also a little bit creeped out tbh.

2020 is looking pretty good for Demi Lovato so far. 

The singer is making a pretty big comeback with, not just one, but two MAJOR performances, back to back.

Just a week ago, she announced that she’ll be performing at the Grammy Awards on January 26.

The announcement of her upcoming performance came just a few weeks after the singer teased “the next time you hear from me, I’ll be singing” back in December.

The star will make her much anticipated return to the spotlight later this month. 

Demi announced that she’ll be performing at the 62nd Grammy Awards later this month, via instagram. “I told you the next time you’d hear from me I’d be singing.” The Recording Academy also confirmed Lovato’s participation shortly after her announcement. And that’s not the only thing Demi has —manifested— into action.

We don’t know what type of brujería she worked but Demi truly predicted this.

PopCrave recently unearthed a 2010 tweet from Demi in which she accurately predicted her Super Bowl performance —a full decade before she’s slated to take the stage. “One day I’m gonna sing the national anthem at a Super Bowl,” Demi wrote ten years ago, adding: “Onnnee dayyy….” —brujería, I tell you.

The singer, who’s been in self-care mode since her 2018 overdose, announced she’ll be singing the national anthem at Super Bowl LIV next month.

Demi’s idea of “taking it slow” took an interesting turn after this announcement.  She is now slated to perform at the the same annual Super Bowl —the same low key event that Nielsen says drew an audience of 98.2 million people in the United States and sparked 32.3 million social media interactions last year. No biggie. 

The “Sorry Not Sorry” singer will be joining a roster of A-list stars at the Super Bowl this year. 

The iconic half time performance is in the hands of two Latinx queens. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, are headlining the show. And now it’s J.Lo, Shakira, and Demi. And we already can’t wait to watch these Latinas rock the show.

Demi’s fans have been quick to show their support and excitement for her upcoming gigs. 

The 27-year-old has publicly struggled with sobriety and was treated for a drug overdose in July 2018. A globally viewed Grammy performance, and Super Bowl appearance, are quite ambitious undertakings for someone who has stayed out of the spotlight for some time. But her fans’ support might’ve been what encouraged her to get back in the game. 

Team Demi is with her all the way…

YOU’RE REALLY FEEDING US OMG WE DONT DESERVE,” one fan tweeted after the singer announced her Super Bowl appearance. Another wrote: “So happy for you Demi… I’m excited for you for 2020 it’s your year to shine brighter than the sun… you f*cking rock!!!!”

A Ring Camera Captured A Man’s Valiant Effort To Save A Mother And Her Daughters From A House Fire

Things That Matter

A Ring Camera Captured A Man’s Valiant Effort To Save A Mother And Her Daughters From A House Fire

Ring / Facebook

It was the middle of the night and Gladys Castañeda and her daughters were sound asleep as their next-door neighbor’s home went up in flames. Across the road, a neighbor noticed the flames and that the Castañeda’s weren’t outside, watching with the rest of the block. Ty Byers decided to take action and rush across the street towards the flames to alert the Castañeda’s to the impending danger. Ring doorbell video footage shows another neighbor, Amanda Smith, running over, desperately asking if they’ve gotten out yet. Both start yelling and banging on the windows and the door. All the while, Gladys thought someone was trying to break into their home. Using the Ring doorbell, she asked, “Can I help you?”

Once Byers realized she had the two-way speaker technology, he looks straight into the camera to shout, “The house next door to you is on fire! Your house is almost on fire!” Byers waited and helped run each of Glady’s daughters to safety while Gladys got prepared to abandon her home.

The Ring doorbell footage has since gone viral, and Gladys wants to shout Byer’s heroic efforts from all the virtual rooftops.

CREDIT: RING / FACEBOOK

The fire that nearly engulfed her Mesa, Arizona home was sparked in the early hours of July 26, 2019. Byers was new to the neighborhood, and she didn’t know him that well, but he still showed up as a model neighbor citizen. Even though the incident happened last summer, the video has been recirculating. Gladys admits that not even her closest friends knew about the near-death experience because she didn’t want to share the video out of “respect to my neighbors.” Now, she’s had a change of heart. “I didn’t want to put them out there like that but the more I think about it, why shouldn’t I? What they did was amazing,” Castañeda shared to Facebook. Now, she’s asking if people can help her share the video as an example of heroism.

Video footage shows ash blowing in the wind as Byers shouts, “Your house is almost on fire!”

CREDIT: RING / FACEBOOK

Castañeda was too afraid to go to the door, thinking robbers were causing a distraction to break into her home. With two young daughters, she didn’t know what to do but use the two-way speaker system on her smart doorbell to get more information. “Can I help you?” she asked over the intercom. After Byers shouts into the intercom, “The house next to you is on fire! Your house is almost on fire!” Castañeda responds, “Oh, oh, okay. Thank you.” Casteñeda ran out of bed to check on her oldest daughter, Emily and found that her room was already filled with smoke. 

“Without Ring, I don’t think I would ever have opened the door because in my mind I thought they were breaking in,” she told Ring. “When it’s a fire that big, minutes can turn into devastation. Who knows what could have happened?”

Byers then individually rushed each of Castañeda’s daughters over to his garage.

CREDIT: RING / FACEBOOK

Castañeda brought Emily to the front door and found Byers racing back to offer help just as she asked, “Can you help me?” Footage shows Byers sprinting across the street to rush Emily to his home across the street. A few seconds of inactivity go by when we see Byers sprinting back to the Castañeda residence. Castañeda passes over her one-year-old daughter, Victoria, and Byers rushes her over to her sister. Still, Byers races back and opens the door to lean in and ask, “Do you need any more help?” Fully clothed and with her phone in hand, she says, “No, thank you,” and runs across the street to be reunited with her daughters in Byers’ garage.

The Mexican-American mother is grateful for her children’s safety and wants everyone to credit Ty Byers and Ring doorbell for that.

CREDIT: GLADYS CASTAÑEDA / FACEBOOK

Castañeda’s husband had left for work just 25 minutes prior, which illustrates how quickly the fire erupted into a blaze that would completely destroy her neighbor’s home. Meanwhile, her neighbor had no idea his home was even on fire. The Castañeda residence was thankfully untouched by the fire, suffering only minor damages to the garage and some trees.

The Ring footage is now being used by her local fire department to investigate how the fire started.

READ: A Dad Interrogated His Daughter’s Date Using A Ring Camera And We All Feel The Secondhand Embarrassment