This weekend, more than 600 youth activists gathered in Kansas City, Mo., to discuss strategies and outline priorities for the United We Dream (UWD) network. UWD is the largest immigrant youth organization in the country with 47 affiliates in 25 states. The National Congress provided an opportunity for participants to celebrate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and their successful "I am a DREAM Voter" get out the vote campaign.
As students celebrated and shared their stories, they talked about family members who were not eligible for deferred action, parents who continued to face exploitation and abuse on the job and the overall need to provide relief for the entire community that includes a road map to citizenship.
Celso Mireles, a DREAM activist, attended the UWD National Congress and said, "I believe that at the end of the day, we realized that if we are to take the next victory in this fight for our undocumented community, we must do so united. Our name is more than just wishful thinking, it is our guiding principle. We really are united, and united we dream."
Mireles was born in Juarez, Mexico, and grew up in Phoenix. He witnessed firsthand the gestation of radical legislation that culminated in S.B. 1070 and fasted for nine days in front of Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) office. Mireles is a co-founder of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, a member of United We Dream and one of the original recruits of the Dream Army.