I can’t remember where I was when I heard that they were planning to attach the DREAM Act to the Defense Authorization Bill. But I do remember holding my cell phone in my trembling hands and rereading the text message, it didn’t seem real.
There is some confusion about what exactly happened two weeks ago, and many think the DREAM Act came up for a vote and failed. This did not occur.
On the Thursday September 16 Senator Reid announced he would introduce the DREAM Act as part of the Defense Bill, meaning it would be an attachment to it. And on Tuesday September 21st they would discuss attaching the DREAM Act to the Defense bill. However when Tuesday arrived the Senators voted not to discuss it. The DREAM ACT WAS NEVER VOTED ON!! It never had a chance, and therefore it could not pass or fail. Any information going around that the DREAM Act did not pass is wrong.
On Monday August 23rd we got the text message, “Ivan is out”, to anyone else these three words sound normal, meaningless even, but not to all the members of One Michigan. To us it meant there is hope, for Ivan and his family, for the DREAM Act.
For the past two weeks One Michigan had been fighting nonstop to help a young man from Russian stay in the United States, stay home. We came to know more and more about his life and his struggle. His campaign transformed itself from making a small two minute phone call to helping one of our own. And as we met Ivan’s fiancée and her mom we became more dedicated to this fight and his case hit closer to home. We, as One Michigan, took it upon ourselves to help Ivan stay with his fiancee and his family. We went to local schools and put up fliers, approached random strangers and asked them to call and ask to stop his deportation; we worked for two weeks to see him free. We attended rallies and stood outside the Dearborn Police Station with his friends and family.
And finally on Friday 20th it paid off when the news that he would be released the upcoming Monday. We hugged, we cried, we rejoiced. We met Ivan the day he was released; he was greeted with cheers and smiles as he walked into our weekly One Michigan meetings.
For Immediate Release
Undocumented Student Ivan Nikolov Released from Detention
Community members gather to thank supporters; advocate for the DREAM Act
Detroit, Michigan- After continuous efforts from national and local advocates, undocumented student Ivan Nikolov, 22, has been freed from a local jail in Dearborn were he was transferred after spending three months in a detention center awaiting deportation.
One Michigan, an immigrant youth organization, has been rallying support for Ivan for the past two weeks. “Ivan’s case is a good example of why we need the DREAM Act, without it thousands of students like Ivan will continue to be deported. We are grateful for all the work Senator Stabenow, Senator Levin, and all congressional leaders did on Ivan’s case and continue to do on behalf of the DREAM Act, we ask that other Senators join the effort and pass the DREAM Act!” says Samantha Nawrocki, an organizer with One Michigan.