Obama organizing group sends out immigration appeal from undocumented immigrant, calls for more stories
Organizing for America, the political action arm of President Obama’s campaign operation, has sent out a personal plea from an illegal immigrant demanding immigration reform, and calling on others to share their stories of how they came to the U.S. without going through the regular legal process.
On Wednesday evening, OFA sent out a personal appeal by Jose Magana, an illegal immigrant, with the subject line “Where is your family from?”
Magana’s email paints a picture of a hard working man who was brought to America illegally from Mexico “through no fault of [his] own” — a phrase sometimes used by Obama — as a 2-year-old child.
“I am an undocumented immigrant — and I am living proof that our immigration system is broken,” Magana writes in his missive, which was sent out to OFA’s massive email list.
Magana describes how his mother worked three jobs to support the family and how he has gone on to become a productive member of society who completed law school, received deferred action, and is now fighting for illegal immigrants who “live in fear of being deported permanently to a country we may have never even visited.”
He explains that, just as he did in college, illegal immigrants can change minds by “just telling our stories.”
“This is exactly how we’re going to persuade people across the country to get behind President Obama’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform,” he writes, explaining that OFA will “will use these stories to move the conversation forward.”
“Through this grassroots movement, we can raise our voices, tell our stories, and make sure Congress and all Americans better understand the ties that bind us. Our stories can drive our organizing. Share your own story today, and help Organizing for Action get the word out on why this matters,” Magana write directing people to visit the OFA story submission website.
Read the full OFA email:
I was brought to this country from Mexico when I was 2 years old.
I am an undocumented immigrant — and I am living proof that our immigration system is broken.
For the first 17 years of my life, I slept on a couch. My mom worked three jobs to support our family.
I worked hard, too. I did my homework, participated in class, and earned the opportunity go to college. But after I enrolled, state law changed and many undocumented immigrants were forced to drop out. Suddenly they could no longer afford the education they were eager to work for.
We started organizing. We’d go up to people on campus, and ask them if they’d heard about the DREAM Act, which would allow hard-working immigrants who grew up in the U.S. to earn a path to citizenship. For those who opposed it, we’d tell them what happened to us.
It was amazing: Just telling our stories would change people’s minds.
This is exactly how we’re going to persuade people across the country to get behind President Obama’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform.
Everyone has a story — I’m sure you do, too. As the President said last week, “Unless you’re one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else. Somebody brought you.”
At this critical moment, will you share your immigration story? Organizing for Action will use these stories to move the conversation forward.
Now, almost six years later, I’ve completed law school and was fortunate to receive deferred action. I consider myself an American, and I want to play by the same rules as everyone else. But, as it stands, I can never become a citizen. I can’t adjust my status. For most of my life, I could have been arrested, detained, and deported.
I’m not alone. Millions of undocumented immigrants like me live in fear of being deported permanently to a country we may have never even visited. Our entire lives could be erased.
You might not live under the same shadow. But the best thing about this country is that we are more alike than we are different. We all have a story of a mother, or grandfather, or great-great grandparent who came here to find opportunity or safety.
Through this grassroots movement, we can raise our voices, tell our stories, and make sure Congress and all Americans better understand the ties that bind us. Our stories can drive our organizing. Share your own story today, and help Organizing for Action get the word out on why this matters:
The majority of Americans agree we need to fix our badly broken system, and we saw major progress last week. But it’s on us to keep up the momentum and make sure it gets done.
Thanks for speaking up.