November 2012 - Kansas City, MO - The fourth United We Dream (UWD) Congress gathered 600 undocumented immigrant students also known as "Dreamers" to share, be educated, discuss and formulate the organization's 2013 political agenda.
Picture: An event facilitator makes announcements as he helps to organize the registration process on Friday November 30, 2012. Attendees arrived in cars and vans from around the country despite the possibility of arrest or detainmnet.
A delegate from Arkansas takes a picture of his school's mascot, the Razorback, they just painted on a banner outside the main meeting room.
"Dreamers" are the children of parents who illegally immigrated into the United States. Many of the "Dreamers" were brought in when they were little but now attend or want to attend college.
Giavanna Hurtoolo, North Carolina, talks about being abused as an undocumented emigrant to a small group. She speaks about not either wanting or being able to seek justice over the abuse due to her status. Many other delegates shared similar stories.
Delagates share stories of abuse and painful situations they attribute to being an undocumented emigrant in a small group.
Delegates listen to a story from a presenter. They snap their fingers when they agree and raise their hands as they answer questions.
Giavanna Hurtoolo, North Carolina, makes a video of her state's delegates voting on the future direction of the United We Dream organization on Saturday, December 1, 2012.
A delegate keeps track of a the group's policy vote on Saturday, December 1, 2012. The choices are to work on policies which would either: 1) help them as students attend college, 2) help their families or 3) CIR (comprehensive immigration reform).
Lorella Praeli, Washington D.C. (left) and Cristina Jimenez, New York, listen to the outcome of the vote. Organizers were surprised to hear the vote moving more toward helping families and pushing for CIR (comprehensive immigration reform) instead of the "first step" of helping the "Dreamers" as students.
After the vote showed delegates feelings toward helping their families and moving for CIR (comprehensive immigration reform) the delegates were asked what would help in their day to day lives. The Wisconsin delegates wait in line with their want list as another state read theirs on stage.
(Wisconsin: 1) Protect our right to organize & increase involvement, 2) Higher Education $$$, 3) Driver's License / Travel without fear, freedom of movement.)
Myrna Orozco, Kansas City, MO, addresses the delegates at the end of day two asking them to stay strong as they find a common direction.
NYT Reporter Julia Preston's December 3, 2012 story in The New York Times - "Young Immigrant Activists Cast a Wider Net"
NYT Reporter Julia Preston's blog post - "Young Immigrants Want ‘Dream Warrior’ Army"