#Human Rights
Janet Napolitano
United States of America

Guillermo Reyes Mendoza and Jesus Reyes Mendoza arrived to the United States with their parents and another brother, Marcos, in 2000. They were escaping political persecution in Venezuela. Their father petitioned for asylum because he had been threatened and beaten by state security officials. However, asylum was denied.

On Thursday of last week (November 12, 2009), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided the Reyes Mendoza house in crack of dawn and detained both Jesus and Guillermo – they are scheduled to leave as early as Friday, November 20th. Even though Marcos was not detained, he is also subject to deportation.

All of what these brothers and family ever worked for was to become part of the “American Dream,” but our unjust laws and broken immigration system denied have deferred their DREAM. Why would our government commit such an injustice? Aren’t these young men an epitome of our nation’s values—that nation that supposedly cherishes equality of opportunity as the reward of hard-work and dedication?

Jesus is a shining example. Due to his great high-school performance, he was admitted to Miami Dade Honors College. While making the Dean's List every term, he volunteered to tutor students in math and to assist biology department staff. He was elected student government president at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Kendall Campus and was a leader in numerous other student groups. Jesus has also interned with U.S. Congress Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. He is just 2 semesters away from graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Jesus’ goals are to influence government through biblical values and to one day become a U.S. congressman.

Guillermo’s talent is also well known. Guillermo earned his Associate's degree in computer animation and web design. He won numerous art and design awards and maintained a high grade-point average. Guillermo has always felt that giving back to his community is very important and he has volunteered to teach children of all ages about finances. He plans to get a Bachelor’s degree in computer animation and then earn a Master’s degree. Ultimately, he dreams of becoming a producer and making animated movies. Guillermo feels that the U.S. is the place where he sees all of his dreams coming true and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Marcos is an Honors College graduate. He obtained his AA in computer programming and was awarded a Bright Futures scholarship due to his good grades and he was able to continue his studies – ultimately, he dreams of becoming a NASA engineer. Like Jesus, both brothers remain active in their church, ministering to sick members and volunteering for charitable works.

These injustices would not be occurring if the DREAM Act were to be made into law. We will not tolerate our government to deport our friends and loved ones. Our government should spend our hard-earned tax dollars on funding education rather than deporting our community’s most valuable assets. ICE should be spending our tax dollars pursuing individuals that threaten our society and should not waste our valuable resources deporting extraordinary and dedicated students.

These injustices CAN and MUST BE stopped NOW.

We, the undersigned, as leaders, allies or friends of our youth-led movement DEMAND:

AN IMMEDIATE RELEASE of Guillermo Reyes Mendoza and Jesus Reyes Mendoza from unjust detention.

DEFERRED ACTION for Guillermo Reyes Mendoza, Jesus Reyes Mendoza and Marcos Reyes Mendoza to allow them to stay in the United States with proper documentation.

ENACT the federal DREAM Act (H.R.1751 and S.729) now! It's the key piece of legislation and it is the only option currently available to millions of undocumented students like Guillermo, Jesus and Marcos.

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The Keep Guillermo's and Jesus' DREAM Alive: Halt ALL Deportations of DREAMers! petition to Janet Napolitano was written by Students Working For Equal Rights and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.