My name is Miriam and I am a Fall Fellow in Phoenix, AZ. I got involved in the campaign not only because of what President Obama has accomplished, but also for what he stands for. For many Latinos, including myself, immigration reform is an issue very close to our heart and we have a President that supports comprehensive immigration reform. It took my mother over 20 years to become a citizen of the United States due to our current immigration policy. It is sad to me to see how much time and money it costs to become a citizen and I know this needs to change.
My mother is not the only person close to me affected by current immigration policy, for example, a number of my cousins were brought here illegally as infants and worked hard in school until they graduated. Now that they are young adults, they are left to find work “under the table” to make a living, even though they had the grades and drive to continue their education. If President Obama had his way, the Dream Act would have been signed into law already and my relatives could continue with their education and have a greater shot at success.
These are common issues among the Latino community, especially here in Arizona and what is unfortunate, is that our voice as Latinos is not heard due to our low levels of civic engagement. Our voice has not grown at the same rate as our population in America and I am passionate to change that.
I plan to work my hardest to create a campaign presence at every Latino event throughout the county to create awareness around the changes in the immigration process that President Obama supports. I also plan to register as many Latino voters as possible and develop Latino leaders for our neighborhood teams. It is my goal to see the President elected in 2012 so he can continue to fight for issues that are close to my heart and the hearts of so many Latinos across Arizona.