Herta is the personification of the American Dream. An eleven year old middle schooler when she arrived in Michigan with her mother and siblings,she took to America like a duck to water. In high school she was a popular honor student who also excelled in sports. She graduated with a 4.05 grade point average, and was elected to the National Honor Society-- not bad for a kid who spoke no English when she arrived.
She is now studying electrical engineering at the University of Detroit. In two years or less she will have her bachelors degree. She is a bright, hardworking, motivated, typical American girl. English is her first language, and American culture is her culture. She is one of us for sure. Why wouldn't we want to keep her here? What on earth would make DHS want to send her back to Albania?
What really makes this hard to understand is that there is a bill moving slowly through congress right now that would make it possible for Herta to stay in America when it becomes law, but not if she is deported before it passes. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (The "DREAM Act") will make it possible for Herta to have permanent residency, but not if she has already been deported when it is signed into law.
"The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (The "DREAM Act")is a piece of proposed federal legislation that was introduced in the US Senate, and the US House of Representatives on March 26, 2009. This bill would provide certain illegal immigrant students who graduate from US high schools, are of good moral character, arrived in the US as children, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. The students would obtain temporary residency for a six year period. Within the six year period, a qualified student must have "acquired a degree from an institution of higher education in the United States or [have] completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor's degree or higher degree in the United States," or have "served in the uniformed services for at least 2 years and, if discharged, [have] received an honorable discharge."
Here's What You Can Do
You can read more about Herta, including what she has to say about herself at dreamactivist.org I hope you'll take the time to do that.
- Join the facebook group for immediate updates: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=111108019510
- Sign petition which will be hand-delivered to targets: http://www.change.org/actions/view/stop_deportation_of_dream_student_herta_llusho
- Use SEIU Click to Call Action Tool to call DHS: http://call.seiu.org/9/hertadhs
- Call Senator Carl Levin at (202) 224-6221. Urge him to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.
- Call Senator Stabenow at (202) 224-4822. Urge her to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.
- Call Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick at (202) 225-2261. Urge her to a) introduce private bill for Herta, and b) write letter to DHS asking them to stop Herta's deportation.
Then I hope you will use the power of the internet to do what you can and spread the message around. Time is short so don't delay.
Let's get that deportation order postponed until after the DREAM act becomes law so that Herta Llusho can have her shot at the American dream. It seems only fair.
source& photo credit: Citizen Orange