The KS/MO Dream Alliance has been working to defend undocumented students and families in Missouri since 2009. We thank those allies who stood with us today as we tried to voice our fears and needs to Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II.

We were removed from the town hall, and therefore we are delivering the following open letter to Congressman Cleaver about our message today. As the representative said today, "Now is not the time to shut up."

From an ally to a dreamer

Dustin Fish- 

My husband was once undocumented. In 2012 the immigrant youth fought for some sort of relief after The Dream Act failed in congress. They pressured President Obama to create an executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals also known as DACA. His eligibility let him take advantage of such legislature.. He chose to take this path to obtain some relief in the U.S. DACA allowed him to receive a social security card, work permit, and a stay of deportation. In 2013 I met him and not only fell in love with him and the immigration struggle but my passions of social justice, equality, and equity became a top priority. As an ally to the cause I understand my privilege. I accept that and have learned to use it to reach out to people in my circle of contacts who may not know about the struggles of minorities.

The Kansas Missouri Dream Alliance is an affiliate of the largest immigrant youth led organization in the United States, United We Dream. The Kansas Missouri Dream Alliance has adopted United We Dream’s Core Principles.

The first principle is:

 “People most affected are at the forefront and we bring our whole selves to the work.
We are committed to ensuring that people who are, have been, or will be directly impacted by the immigrant experience are at the forefront of decision-making. We may be farthest from the conventional levers of power but we are closest to the problems, and we are most able to create truly transformative solutions based in an intersectional analysis and the beauty and power of our whole selves. Youth, womxn, and LGBTQ people from different ethnicities are at the core of our work.”

This principle at first makes me think that I am not a part of this work or should not have a say in it. I may not be directly affected but I will bring my whole self to the work of the issues that hurt people I care deeply about. I may not be directly affected but I will be committed to show up to the fight and I will know when to yield to those who will make the decisions. I will work alongside the people that have adopted me into their culture and accepted me to help come up with truly transformative solutions. I may not be young anymore (I am 31), I may not know the realities of being a person of color or a woman, or an immigrant but through my lived reality of discrimination as a gay man, I can, in-a-way, identify with these share-struggles. I do not pretend to know all the answers and I sit and learn from those who will teach me. At times I will take a seat and and listen to others on these topics; those who have lived the experiences.