An entirely personal opinion blog based on my own encounters. It is intended to strike the nerve of our creative thought process and bring to life passion in multiple individuals.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Lauren Gray has been in the United States since she was four years old. Her parents brought her and her year old sister from England when their grandmother lost her leg in a farming accident.
Ian and Alison Gray came into the U.S on an E2 visa to work, and took over a small restaurant and hotel in Trenton, Missouri to support the entire family. Lauren and her sister Gemma were allowed to live under their parents as dependents. Her grandparents began in 2003 to apply for Lauren, Gemma, and their parent's citizenship. Lauren attended elementary, middle, and high school in the United States. When it came time to choose a college, she followed her dreams of becoming a classical dancer to Stephens College, in Columbia Missouri even though she didn't qualify for federal aid in the United States. Even though Lauren has waited for almost a decade for her citizenship, she is still living under her parents visa so she can't work legally in the U.S and can't help her parents pay for her education or support herself upon graduation.
On August 8th, when she turns twenty-one Lauren will no longer be allowed to be a dependent on her parents visa's. She will be forced to leave the place that she calls home, and deported to a country that is very "foreign" to her. Her family, friends and everything she knows and loves are all here in the United States. In many eyes, Lauren is already an upstanding citizen.
Obama recently announced the DREAM Act which will allow illegal immigrants under 35, who came to the United States as minors, a temporary work visa. If they serve two years in the military or complete two years of higher education they are also granted six years of temporary residency. Lauren meets every qualification for Obama's DREAM Act, except she has done one thing wrong. She did everything right. Since Lauren is here as a legal immigrant, and her parents have patiently worked with the United States government since 2003 to legalize all members of their family, the DREAM ACT will not honor her.
In four more years her sister Gemma will go through the same thing. Their grandparents are now legal citizens, and her parents will remain here in the United States on their E2 visa's, to continue the fight for the family's citizenship.
Please sign the petition below and tell President Obama to allow legal immigrants who meet the same qualifications, the same same benefits offered to DREAM Act recipients so Lauren can remain in the U.S while she waits for her legal citizenship to be approved.