San Antonio- After initiating a state-wide hunger strike in support of the DREAM Act, San Antonio DREAM Act supporters have escalated their actions and staged a sit-in at Senator Hutchison's San Antonio office. The students, which include DREAM-eligible youth and U.S. citizens, will not leave the office until Senator Hutchison commits to voting for the DREAM Act in the lame duck session.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures," said My Le. "I wish it didn't have to come to this, but we don't have any time to waste."
"I wish I had celebrated Thanksgiving with my family and friends," added Felipe Vargas. "But we'll have our Thanksgiving celebration when the DREAM Act passes."
Lucina Martinez added, "We know that the Senator understands our plight, that she is sensible, and compassionate. She voted for the DREAM Act in 2007, and her constituent responses were always favorable. She's only recently changed her tune. We hope to remind her that our futures, that our lives depend on her support."
Below are the profiles of the four individuals sitting in at Senator Hutchison's office:
Julio Lopez: His hometown is San Antonio. He is in his last year of undergraduate study at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is taking a double-major in Anthropology and Mexican American Studies and is an active member of the Mexican American Studies Student Organization.
Lucina Martinez: Born in Mexico City but moved to Dallas, TX with her parents at age 6. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Texas at San Antonio where she is double majoring in Women's Studies and Mexican American Studies. She's a DREAM Act beneficiary and is on her 20th day of the Hunger Strike.
Felipe Vargas: Currently finishing doctorate in History, Philosophy and Education Policy from Indiana University Bloomington. He is on the 20th day of the hunger strike.
My Le: Hometown is Saigon, Vietnam. She moved to the United States at the age of 5. She is not a DREAM Act beneficiary but a committed ally. She is currently a sophomore at the University of Texas at San Antonio and is double majoring in Art and Psychology with a minor in Women's Studies.
Not too long ago, Senator Hutchison was a supporter of the DREAM Act. In 2007, the Senator made a compassionate floor speech in favor of the DREAM Act. In June 2010, the Senator's constituent responses in regards to the DREAM Act were positive. Below is an excerpt from a June 2010 constituent response from Senator Hutchison on the DREAM Act:
"Among our immigrant population, there are young people who were brought to this country as minors and have not yet attained legal status. These young people have attended and graduated from American high schools. They wish to attend or are attending American colleges and universities in order to enjoy prosperity. Their inability to garner employment following college graduation leaves them in an unfortunate position. I believe that we must find a way to help assimilate these college graduates into our country. In addition to the economic benefit of retaining college graduates in our country, there is a compassionate reason for us to try to work this out."