Last week, as I stood only a few feet away from President Obama and watched him speak on the need for comprehensive immigration reform, I was reminded of the reasons that I'd filed my naturalization papers so that I could vote for him in the November 2008 election.
Eddy Arias didn't know he was undocumented when he came to the United States at the age of 14. That didn't stop immigration authorities from detaining Arias two years ago, during a routine traffic stop.
The most successful community campaigns present a new vision for change, a creativity and fearlessness to promote policies many have thought unachievable, as well as a canny understanding of how to navigate local political forces.
Politicians dominate most stories about key issues, pushing the movements to the margins. Almost every American who is paying attention to the news knows the name of Senator Ted Cruz, but how many can name an immigrant rights or labor leader?
Where do I come from? When people ask me this, I usually say America. "No," they persist, "where are you from?" What they are really asking me is, "Why are you brown?" (Or, as my mother likes to say, "golden." Right on, Mom.)
Foes of immigration reform like to position themselves as true-blue patriots acting in the best interests of the country. But it's hard to square that image with opposition to legislation that, more than any other single act, could help rebuild the nation's middle class.
Unlike the rest of the world's democracies, the United States doesn't use the metric system, doesn't require employers to provide workers with paid vacations, hasn't abolished the death penalty, and doesn't celebrate May Day as an official national holiday.
We can help build a peaceful, prosperous, and diverse nation. On April 8 our family will mark the day as a day for building friendship among nations and peoples. It is especially important that we do this as residents in a nation of immigrants.
Each day in this country, hundreds of immigrants appear in immigration court on their own and without legal counsel, even though the government is represented by a trained attorney and immigration law has been referred to as "more complex than the tax code."
President Obama, you can ensure that Becky and Sanne's green card petition is not denied but put on hold until either the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act or Congress passes an immigration reform bill that includes the gay partner provision you put forward.
I live at the intersection of inequalities faced by undocumented immigrants and LGBTQ people in this country. But I'm not afraid of what's to come, because I know that the LGBTQ movement will rise to the occasion, and we will not sit this one out.
It is easy to forget that in his day, in his own country, King was considered a dangerous troublemaker. He was harassed by the FBI and vilified in the media. In fact, King was radical. He believed that America needed a "radical redistribution of economic and political power."
As we commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our nation both reflects on the past and ponders the future. As we commemorate the legislative victories, the heroism, commitment and sacrifice, I am reminded of the work that remains.
Despite advances at the state level, same-sex spouses were nothing more than strangers to each other in the eyes of the federal government. One group that has suffered these harsh repercussions is gay and lesbian Americans with foreign spouses.
There are many things to be thankful for in 2012. People have been taking to the streets around the world, from students in Chile to indigenous activists in Canada to anti-austerity workers in Europe. Here are some U.S. and global issues that experienced newfound gains in 2012.
Forcing the country to face social issues through cultural interventions is especially critical for a grassroots U.S. immigrant rights movement, given that none of the "leaders" of the Washington-based immigrant rights groups with national media clout is an immigrant. That's right: none.
Georgia students, galvanized by the groundbreaking work of Dream Act supporters and the visionary role of Freedom University, are serving as an organizing model for a growing "climate and immigrant justice freedom movement" across the country.
Understanding the universality of certain rights and freedoms doesn't mean aligning every social movement on a uniform agenda; it means connecting between communities and across social divides while simultaneously recognizing the persistence of those differences.