DREAMers Being Considered for Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

By Griselda Nevarez, Voxxi

The Dreamers’ movement is more powerful and stronger than ever before–and Time magazine thinks so too. This year, the magazine lists Dreamers as one of the 40 candidates being considered for “Person of the Year.”

The list also includes political figures such as President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton. It also includes activists, Olympic gold medalists and foreign leaders. However, it doesn’t include any Latinos.

The magazine notes that Dreamers proved this year they are a force to be reckoned with. They mobilized to convince President Barack Obama to protect undocumented youth from deportation and give them work permits through deferred action.

It also notes that “an invisible population” stepped forward and came out of the shadows on June 15, the day Obama announced the deferred action program. The plight of dreamers and the president’s move to grant undocumented youth deferred action also mobilized Latino and Asian voters to cast their ballots in favor of the president.

This is not the first time that the magazine acknowledges dreamers. In June, Time magazine published an article titled “Inside the World of the ‘Illegal’ Immigrant.” The article, written by undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, spotlights the growing immigration-rights movement and features the faces of several dreamers.

Dreamers deserve to be named ‘Person of the Year’

Among those featured in the June article was Julieta Garibay, a Dreamer who has been advocating for legislation like the DREAM Act that would pave a pathway to citizenship for dreamers since 2005.

Garibay told VOXXI Dreamers deserve to be named “Person of the Year” not only because of their hard work this year but also because of the decade-long climb it’s taken to achieve something like deferred action.

“Our movement is stronger than it’s ever been but it’s taken years to get to this point,” she told VOXXI. “We have grown so much over the years and have redefined what undocumented means.”

She added that Dreamers were able to build political power this year despite their legal status and inability to vote. One of the ways they did that, she said, is through the “I am a DREAM voter” campaign in which Dreamers registered and encouraged voters to vote for candidates who favor a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and their families.

“We reshaped and redefined what it means to be politically powerful,” she told VOXXI.

The Time magazine’s editors will have the last word on who is chosen as “Person of the Year.” However, readers can also have a say on who is chosen by casting their vote for the candidate they think has been most influential.

As of Wednesday, 52 percent of the votes cast were in favor of Dreamers being named “Person of the year” while 48 percent opposed the idea.

Voting will close at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 12. The winner will be announced on Dec. 14.

To vote for Dreamers as Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ click here.

This article was first published in Voxxi.

Griselda Nevárez is a reporter with Hispanic Link News Service in Washington D.C.

[Photo by  paulinaclemente]

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