Manuel is a Dreamer, like any other. Please help us stop the increase of unfair deportations by reading Manuel's story and then signing this petition to the head of Immigration (ICE) and Homeland Security (DHS).
My name is Manuel Guerra. I came to the United States of America more than 11 years ago,in order to escape from a violent and brutal gang that I was forced to join while in Mexico. I was only sixteen (16) years old. I realized quickly that I had to get out of this gang, “you kill or be killed” was their motto.
I come from a town called Guanajuato, where “life worth is nothing”, as Dolores Hidalgo put it. I have immersed myself in the United States culture and way of life. I believe your Country is not the one that gives you birth, but the one that gives you opportunity with open arms.
After a long journey walking in the mountains of Laredo Texas, for more than 5 days, suffering thirst and eating corn and grass to survive, my eldest sister greeted me here in America. I worked there in a restaurant washing dishes for more than 7 months. Life was difficult when you do not speak English or have your parents with you. My older sister told me to move to Florida where she lived. I moved to Florida where I began to work 8 hours a day in landscaping business and attended an Adult Education program every night to learn English. After attending School for 3 months,I excelled so much that my teachers and priest gave me a chance to attend High School. The priest Nestor Rodriguez gave me a chance to live in his house without compensating while I helped in Church and attended South Fork High School. I graduated in two years and I earned a scholarship for 8 years to attend a college in Miami. I was not able to use the scholarship because of my undocumented status.
While in High School, I joined the ROTC program. My goal was to join the United States Army and become a chaplain in the military. From 2005 to 2010, I represented hundreds of Immigrants from the state of Florida, in the South East Pastoral Institute. I was appointed by my spiritual director and President of the Hispanic Youth Ministry of the Dioceses of Palm Beach to participate as leader.I wrote three books to help Immigrants to integrate in the America Culture. After being frustrated of my Immigration Status, I heard of an agency in Indiantown who was helping undocumented immigrants getting Immigrant Status. I applied for a work permit and instead of getting a my work permit and green card I got a letter in the mail to appear in the Immigration Court and soon learned that I was a victim of an unlicensed practice of law.
When Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, contacted me via cell phone I assisted them on the investigation, but DHS/ICE dropped the case. I know firsthand, that the Immigration laws need to be regulated and reformed. I have lived, I have seen, and I have tried to help the nation in a movement to reform the Immigration system. I have been helped many Church leaders as well as people from around the country and with various Dreamers from across the U.S. I have gone to Washington DC, more than four times, to lobby with Congress. I organized more than a hundred people in March 21, 2010, where almost half of million peoplegathered outside Congress to ask President Obama to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the Dream Act.
With my story, I have inspired other students and youth leaders to develop their leadership skills in order to excel, join the military, and have a bright future in the United States. I have helped others stay out of gangs, away from drugs, and continue their education. I am extremely active in my church, I having led services, taught catechism courses. I have gone around the United States of America, New York, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, North Caroline, Texas, Tennessee, and many other states to encourage others to take the good paths and be better citizens. I have organized summer camps; I have spent many years working with the youth at church and mentoring students to help them achieve excellent grades.
I have made the United States of America my home, my adopted country and the land where I found freedom and purpose of life. That is a reason to live and a reason worth of fighting for. God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America.
After you sign Manuel's petition, these are the people that we need you to contact:
Janet Napolitano, #(703-235-0854)
John Morton #(202-732-3000)
Nicole Navas, #(786-387-8230).
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