Study abroad is still possible for Dreamers ~ Newsletter May 18, 2017

The California-Mexico Studies Center (CMSC) is pleased to share the great news that within 3 weeks after filing for Advance Parole Travel Authorization, 11 of the 34 Dreamers participating in our Summer 2017 California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program have been approved by USCIS.
This is specially great news given that this is the first time the CMSC will be taking a new group of Dreamers to study in Mexico under the Trump Administration.   Moreover, this is a great sign that USCIS is still accepting and approving Advance Parole Travel Authorizations for DACA recipients to travel abroad.  Also, keep in mind that the CMSC is currently accepting applications for our CMD Winter 2017 Program, which will take place in Mexico City from Dec. 22, 2017 to Jan. 14, 2018.
Furthermore, we invite you to read the following article on our CMD Summer 2017 program, recently published by La Opinión:

Dreamers Defy Fears by Traveling to Mexico this Summer

By: Araceli Martínez Ortega, La Opinión ~ May 17, 2017
Translated by: Amber Workman
The first time Lidieth Arévalo traveled outside the country at the end of 2015 under Advance Parole, she was terrified.
"I've gone six times with the California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program and little by little I've gained confidence. I've never had problems coming back," confides Arévalo, a young Dreamer who in 2013 was a beneficiary of the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy.
After graduating from university with a degree in documentary film production, she was hired as a program assistant for the California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program which takes a group of Dreamers to Mexico twice a year for purposes of academic study and family reunification.
Although Arévalo is not Mexican, but Salvadoran, because of the program, she was able to travel to El Salvador twice, in 2015 and 2016. "It was so exciting to be able to see my brother, who was deported and who I hadn't seen in eight years, and also my dad, who decided to return following his deportation," she explains.
This young woman, who was brought to the United States when she was 13, feels that the trips to Mexico help Dreamers reconnect with their family and become empowered. " We feel more complete when we come back and very proud of our culture," she comments.
The most diverse group
This summer, the California-Mexico Studies Center, under the direction of Professor Armando Vázquez Ramos and in collaboration with the Colegio de la Frontera Norte de México (COLEF), will take 34 student Dreamers to Mexico.
"This is the most diverse group we've had: 24 from California, three from New York, two from Wyoming, and one from Washington, Colorado, Wisconsin, Utah and Arizona, representing 23 universities throughout the United States," says Vázquez Ramos. He notes that,  of the 34 students, 29 are women.
Professor Vázquez Ramos began taking Dreamers to Mexico in 2014, after DACA went into effect. Through the Dreamers Study Abroad program,  more than 120 students have been able to travel to Mexico as part of an academic journey, but also one of family and cultural reunion.
"This will be the first time we'll go without the support of a U.S. university and go with the backing of a Mexican university, the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana," he explains.
The reason for this, Professor Vázquez Ramos indicates, is that in the face of the current anti-immigrant climate and President Trump's threats to eliminate DACA, universities fear something might go wrong.
But, the professor says, "We can't let fear control us or stop doing things because of fear. Trump was expected to get rid of DACA his first day in office. And he didn't do it then or during his second month as president. We have to keep going," he emphasizes.
The Dreamers' journey to reunite with their roots will last 21 days, from August 1st to August 21st.
"The kids will spend most of their time with their family and are expected to complete a study on immigration that relates to their family," he explains.
The journey will end with three days of conferences and workshops at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana.
"We're all coming back on foot and we'll cross the border at Tijuana on August 21st. But don't take me for a fool--we'll be accompanied by an immigration lawyer, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) leaders, and even priests. These will guarantee our reentry and, of course, we'll have all our paperwork in order," he explains.
He points out that one of the goals of this trip is to instill in the Dreamers that they are Mexican, but also American, that they can be players on both sides.

The Latino Theater Company's 

10th Annual Gala at the Los Angeles Theater Center (Video Highlights)

A video recap of The Latino Theater Company's 10th Annual Gala, which took place last year on October 22, 2016 at the Los Angeles Theater Center (LATC).  Among the highlights of the night, was the remembrance of Marco Antonio Firebaugh's life and legacy.  Also, amongst awardees was California Senate President Pro Tempore, Kevin de León, who was honored with the Marco A. Firebaugh award, and Diane Rodriguez who was recipient of the Lupe Ontivero's Dream Award.

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