Used to bring you shame
With no one to give fault to
Our parents were the ones to blame
Not having a 9 digit number
you wrte stripped of your rights
Making you depressed and withdrawn
With the real war an inner fight
With no shoulder to cry
When they asked are you legal
You made up a lie
You wonder and wonder
What will I do after school
When everyones recieving scholarships
While I stand like a fool
Prohibited from working
Because of a s.s card
Life went from being difficult
To extremly hard
AM I THE ONLY ONE
You scream and you yelp
Can anyone hear me
I truely need help
Yes we can help you
GUYA is here
We’ll reach out our hand
With nothing to fear
We must win all our fights
To defend our unalienable rights
We will always stand
To protest this unlawful banned
Whereve you see us
We will march in a parade
Celebrating the beauty
Of students who are undocumented and unafraid
Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance (GUYA)
On October 13th, 2010, the Georgia Board of Regents voted to ban undocumented students from Georgia’s top five competitive universities, including Georgia College & State University, Medical College of Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Georgia. The changes went into effect at the start of the 2011 Fall Semester.
On November 8th, 2011, GUYA presented thousands of petitions to the Board of Regents demanding that the ban on undocumented students be overturned. We are now asking that Mr. Griffin and Mr. Pruitt call for a re-vote on Policy 4.1.6. We are requesting that they listen to the people and no longer bar access to education.
Throughout our lives, our teachers, public servants, families, and communities have told us that education is the quintessential vehicle for overcoming life challenges and poverty. In the classroom, we develop the consciousness and skills to become contributing and productive members of society. Stripping youth of an education puts students and the state at risk. This policy destroys dreams, and cripples Georgia’s future.
My friend Mehreen made a great video about the struggle for education here in Georgia as an undocumented student. Watch, spread and love!!!
Keish Kim speaking in front of Georgia Board of Regents in behalf of GUYA and the Undocumented students in Georgia.
Asking to RESCIND the ban on Undocumented students. (Policy 4.1.6) This policy states that admissions offices check immigration status before admitting students and if they are not lawfully present, they cannot attend the public universities in Georgia. Currently under this policy the 5 most competitive public university enforce this. Including UGA, GA Tech Georgia State University, GCSU, and Georgia Health Science University.
So, on November 8th, 2011, GUYA was granted a seat at the Board of Regent’s committee of Organization and Law to present a 10 minute presentation. This was Keish Kim’s speech asking the board to lift the ban before halting more goals and dreams of the invisible, undocumented students in Georgia.The scarlet U represented all the Undocumented students who were underrepresented and were unable to stand with us. We are standing up and speaking out for all of them.
Undocumented and Unafraid. Unashamed and Unapologetic!!
On the day Troy Davis was lynched, I spent most of my time in front of the State Capitol. I was very hopeful that all of the work, as a member of the Free Troy Davis Committee and GUYA, I had done would pay off and Troy would get to live. I also know I was part of one of the best collectives I’ve ever been in my life. As the dreaded hour crept near, I could hear indistinct talks of storming the Capitol and occupying it if Troy were to be lynched. The air was thick and difficult to take in, and why wouldn’t it be? An innocent man’s life was about to be taken by the State.
The State that only wanted to get rid of the name Troy Davis because the incompetence, injustice and crimes against humanity in its Criminal Injustice system were ever so exposed and made obvious by that name. The system which is always out for blood; the blood of working- and poor-class people and people of color. The system that teaches its enforcers that poor people and people of color are the enemy and trains them on how to shoot down those targets. The system that does nothing to address crime, what causes it or how it can be prevented; how we can be sure there won’t be a “next time”. The system that runs on putting poor people inside cells to make money, and that makes sure to tag people once they have been inside so they can continue to hold you longer and squeeze more money out of you the “next time around”.
As the clock hit 7PM, the bells of the church in front of the Capitol went off. I held the hand of an African-American woman and we rested our heads on each other’s shoulders, trying to hold back the tears as we realized we had lost one of our own. At the time we had no word, no updates on Troy. We didn’t know his lynching was delayed. All we knew was that we needed to find comfort in each other and for about 4 minutes we did. Then, then we got word about Troy. It was announced that he was still alive, and there was an indefinite delay. We didn’t know how to react to the news, so we all cheered; celebrated the fact that Troy was still alive. It was during this time I had a realization.
This realization was something I had known for some time, but chose not to pay any attention to. It wasn’t something that caught me off-guard in the very least. It was a simple dark corner in the back of my mind, I had chosen not to explore. The system that lynched Troy Davis was the same system out for the blood and livelihoods of the immigrant community. The prison-industrial-complex is that system. Public and private. The public element of that system lynched Troy Davis and the private element is making a fortune incarcerating my people, aided by the Federal government.
The tools used to build this gigantic, disgusting, systemic infrastructure range from many obvious, and not so-obvious, traditional elements. Some of the most obvious (and traditional) elements are racism, scapegoating of immigrants, class-warfare and the fetishizing of throwing significant portions of our population into imprisonment. Things our “tough on crime” society alarmingly idolizes. Never mind the fact that the private-prison industry is subsidized by tax-payers and that lynching innocent and incarcerating hard-working people does nothing to address the real, on-going problems. Leaving all aside, the ugly face of this system is exposed and it is racist, classist and xenophobic. While people may assume silence towards injustice and inhumane practice is “neutrality”, the reality is that silence is quiet agreement. While you may think of yourself as an impartial bystander, not standing up to this makes you an enabler.
Troy was imprisoned for over 22 years, and then lynched. What exactly was his crime? Being at the wrong place, at the wrong time and having the wrong skin color. Today under HB-87 here in GA, my people can be imprisoned for up to 15 years and be imposed a fine of up to $250,000. What is the thing we do that calls for such harsh punishment? Attempting to feed ourselves and our families is that big crime. By searching for work and using the only papers we can get, we are “committing” a crime comparable to rape or murder. Knowing undocumented immigrants already in the country have no way of obtaining lawful status, this law makes perfect economic sense for the private prison industry and the politicians receiving their share of profits through campaign contributions, such as our Gov., Nathan Deal, as well as, it manages to throw a bone to the “public” concerned over undocumented immigration: feigning the act of acting proactively to fix the problem. The problem right now and the thing that the public is really concerned about are jobs. Jobs claimed as “stolen” by undocumented immigrants. Never mind the fact that we don’t hire ourselves, or choose to crash the economy.
Contrary to what many politicians on the right-wing may have you believe, the lives of undocumented immigrants are not decadent life-styles of materialism, driving new cars or being able to eat out at restaurants often while collecting food stamps, using hospitals for free, and sending kids to school for free. I would know; I have lived that life for almost 11 years now and that description is way far of the mark.
We are hard-working people who pay our fair share of taxes, I paid more taxes last year than Exxon and GE paid. I can’t apply for a loan for school, but I can sure apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) so the government can keep track of the taxes I have paid. I try to be as careful as possible EVERYWHERE I go because I am afraid of ending up in the hospital. I am afraid I won’t be treated due to my immigration status or being treated and having a bill I won’t be able to pay down for years. Since I can’t afford medical insurance and WILL NOT BE AIDED BY “OBAMACARE” IN ANY WAY, I choose to stay as far away from hospitals as possible, NOT live my life in them as many politicians want you to believe. As for schools, we all pay taxes. Taxes that go to buying food for students of low-income households pay for teachers, for the staff necessary to run a school, for textbooks, and for the salary of people who have never taught a child to make decisions about our kids’ education. So, as you can see, I am not much different from you. I am an American in every way, shape or form and so is my mother, father, sister, the undocumented student trying to get into the college of his DREAMs, the cook working in the back to be able to send money back home, and the friend or family member being pulled over and deported for not having a license. We are all Americans; we just don’t have the right documentation. We are trying to do what we can to feed our families, just as many families barely scraping by are attempting. We are not enemies; we are on the same side. We are being oppressed by the same oppressor who pisses on us and doesn’t even call it rain anymore, instead it tells us to be “grateful with what we have”. Well, “mighty” oppressor, The People have found their voice, The People have realized their strength in numbers and are not afraid of fighting back anymore. We will be heard; we will bring you to justice and claim what is ours: the right to a better life.
Written by: GM
What are you doing right now? Fighting for my rights and my dream along with underrepresented DREAMers all across this country.
What is your motive? To prevent other DREAMer students feeling deserted just because they don’t have a 4.0 or 2300 on the SAT.
Is this really worth your time? I like to think that my time and dedication will bring us a step closer to change.
What is your objective? My personal objective is to go to college; without the forty grand tuition burdens. But secretly, I want to empower other undocumented youth to stand up and fight for their dreams. and whisper that they are not foolish or worthless.
I find myself justifying my involvement, my decisions to fight in this battle against my parents reasons and demands with these answers I never mouth in front of their faces.
My parents object my involvement in this movement. I find myself doing things behind their back.
I want to break free but I am too aware of what they have sacrificed so far in their lives for me and my brother. I don’t want to disappoint them.
So honored to be part of this project.
If you know ANY students who may be interested that resides in Georgia, SPREAD THE NEWS AND THE FLYER!
ANYONE can apply! No 9 digit numbers asked or required! Zero Tuition!
It will cost us NOTHING! Everything will be volunteer based with donated books and volunteer-driven carpools!
5 great UGA professors are charged and empowered to give what they do best. and set of amazing scholars, lawyers, educators all across the US supporting the advisory board!
We have one course offered at this time : American Civilization I
Fall course syllabus is also online :)
Spread it like wildfire guys!!
We finally have a website~ <3
Check it out and be jealous~~~~
love it and share ~~ :]]]]]]
This event is very important to me, it’s a statement to let it be known that I, the students, and the people are NOT happy with these new racist laws that keep coming in. Now these hate bills are even targetting the undocumented youth in our community. Taking away a basic human right that is education.Undocumented students already had to pay out of state tuition to get into college, and now this BAN comes in? Telling them, no matter what you pay, you arent going to be able to attend anyways?Slap in the face is all that is, because I as many other students was always told that I had potential, and with education I could do whatever I wanted when I grew, and now 10 years later Im having to fight for my rights to get a further education beyond high school. all because there is this illusion called “illegal” Well no human being is illegal, we arent born “illegal” its just a term, because we are all equal as human beings.
This BAN- Its a slap to the face, a slap to the face of the 5 year old inside me that was filled with all these lies, that some day I would be something in life, because I was recieving my education and doing the best I could with it, finishing my work, doing homework, finishing projects, all this, and its all redundant since all I see is my dreams being shattered by a racist government. I want to be something in life, I want to be able to go to college, get a career, and not live with my parents at 20 and have a dead end job.
I have 3 years and then what happens? Out of high school, now what? Im having to fight for my education now and Failure is NOT an option.
A community is defined as all the people in a certain area. This is the athens community, not the athens-white, athens-black, athens-whatever. It is Athens, and all the people here are equals. Once you start targetting a certain subgroup, such as the immigrant community, it becomes racism and prejudice. Have we not learned that that is wrong? 2000 plus years ago it was war against the native americans, less then a hundred years ago with the black, and around that same period also it was againts the Asian immigrant workers. Cant the US government understand this is racism?I love the irony. “We the people” “Freedom for all” “One nation under God” “Land of the free” yet we still live in a racist environment where the color of your skin is all that matters, and now the bottom line is money, nobody cares about how ‘removing this “illegal” immigrant’ is just so broad, and it actually means “rip this man from his family, his wife and children, that rely purely on him for income”. And from my experience, I know that many of the kids that are my age and that are immigrants, they didnt have a choice, they came here at early ages with their family, because they were econimally unstable in their homeland. They arent criminals, Im not a criminal, and if I am, I sure didnt choose to be considered a criminal just because of the color of my skin, my accent, or the way my culture is. I am PROUD to be Mexican.
And just because you dont fit into the situation personally, maybe you arent undocumented. You still have to realize you cant just let this problem keep growing, we are all in this together as a community.As the famous Brazilion theorist Paulo Friere once said: “Washing ones hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral”So either you are with us, or you’re against us. You choose your side.
By: Alejandro “Cheesecake” Galeana
(This was Alejandro explaining why the mock graduation at UGA last week was important to him and the rest of the undocumented youth in Georgia. I decided to include Aljeandro’s full name because his piece was so strong and fierce that it would be a shame to leave it with just his initials. And the picture to go with it! love it! )