06/18/2012 05:38 pm ET Updated Aug 18, 2012

Dream Activists Made It Happen

With the stroke of a pen, the president has finally demonstrated leadership on the immigration reform front. Mass incarceration and deportations will continue. But the president has finally recognized the promise of the next generation of immigrant youth and gotten behind them through this executive order.

Is it crass political calculation or enlightened, national leadership? Both in the end. Governor Cuomo should take note, and take action now by supporting the New York State Dream Act, currently stuck in the New York State Legislature.

Tonight many immigrant parents will go to bed feeling that their dreams for their children will be a little easier to achieve. These dreams are what brought them across the killing field on our southern border with Mexico in the first place. They can now hope that, rather than being used as scapegoats, they will be recognized for their contributions to the economic vitality of the U.S. economy and the strength of our culture, cities and small towns.

In the end, the president responded because a committed posse of courageous immigrant youth, activists and allies stood up and said, "The status quo is not good enough. We contribute to this country and we want a better life for ourselves and our neighbors who are exploited by businesses for their bottom line, and inappropriately policed by our deeply divided government." I hope Governor Cuomo sees the wisdom in this.