In August, 2012, Fuerza y Libertad called a meeting to discuss the recent Deferred Action process for youth that arrived in this country before they were 16. We did outreach by calling through our contacts list and using a text messaging system that reaches over 1600 people in the region. The meeting room was packed, all of our chairs filled and people standing and sitting on the floor with over 70 people in attendance. All agreed that while deferred action was an important step for us, we need to be doing more as a community so that all are able to be free of exploitation and oppression.
Amparo Reyna said at the meeting,” Our community has to be united, we sustain this country, we need to be out there advocating our rights, nobody else is going to do that for us. Our voice can be held high if we are united, we are coming here to struggle for ourselves and our families, and this country.”
One of the main requirements for Deferred Action is that students have gone to High School or are working on or finished their GED. Amelia Hall from Wayne Community College joined the meeting to explain the process of enrolling in their GED program or Highschool Equivalency Program through Wake Tech Community College. Later, Gabe Talton, a lawyer and supporter of FLOC and Fuerza y Libertad give a briefing of all the steps and documentation that are required to file for Deferred Action.
We ended with final remarks, and a firm commitment from many of those attending to continue to be involved. Abel Aguilar, a strong member of Fuerza y Libertad, told others why he is involved. “This is important for me and for my community, I am going to work my hardest to get many of my friends and family to become part of this organization. I traveled all the way from Raleigh but I want to stay committed.”