Now, as you prepare to retire, you have an opportunity to leave
a lasting legacy of leadership and moral courage by supporting
the DREAM Act. If you oppose this legislation, however, you turn
your back on the futures of hardworking, undocumented young
people and tarnish your record as a leader committed to the
principles and goals of the religious community.
As you know, the DREAM Act would create a pathway to lawful
permanent residence and eventual earned citizenship for
thousands of upstanding high school graduates who were brought
to the United States as children years ago, including many
students here in Ohio.
Many of these children have thrived, mastering English and
excelling in school, serving their communities and contributing
to the future of America.
who has lived in the U.S. since age three, is one such student.
His teachers at Reading High School in Hamilton, OH, describe
him as an “upstanding person of
great moral character,” and he graduated among the top five
students in his class. But Bernard will be separated from his
family and deported to Guatemala, a country he does not know, if
the DREAM Act fails to pass in the current session of Congress.
Many other students who call Ohio their home, who are members of
our communities, constantly face barriers to education
and employment that would allow them to serve their communities
and their country because current immigration law does not
recognize their special circumstances. There is nothing they
can do to rectify their status. The DREAM Act would remedy
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
once wrote, “there is such a thing as being too late….There is
an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance
or our neglect.” If the DREAM Act does not pass in the 111th
Congress, it will be too late for Bernard Pastor and other young
people like him in our communities.
Senator Voinovich, your vote on the DREAM Act could well be the
last you cast as Ohio’s senior Senator. There are no deals left
to strike, no political tomorrows to think about, no leaders or
special interests to please or defy. All that remains is your
legacy, your conscience and your faith.
You hold tremendous sway over the future of Bernard Pastor
and thousands like him who have run afoul of our immigration law
through no fault of their own, and are now at risk being
permanently taken away from the only homeland they have ever
These are real people, children of God, and with an “aye” or a
“nay” you will help determine whether their lives are blessed
with great opportunity or marred by unimaginable hardship. We
implore and admonish you to do the right thing. History will
remember your choice, and so will we.
November 24, 2010
is an eighteen year old from
that was brought to the United States at the age of three by his
family who was seeking asylum [escaping from political and
religious persecution]. He graduated from Reading High School
in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He is an honor student, a star soccer player, and an avid
community volunteer. His father is a Pentecostal minister.
Bernard Pastor‘s hope is to become a minister himself. He
speaks limited Spanish.
He got into a minor fender bender. He was arrested the day
because he is undocumented and is now scheduled for deportation.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
and U.S. Representative Steve
assisted in helping to postpone his deportation. The youth is
being held in jail pending a review of his case. Supporters held
a vigil/rally on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 at the
Morrow County Correctional Facility,
Calls need to be made now requesting Senators to act quickly to
save Bernard Pastor from deportation through a private bill.
George Voinovich’s main office: (513) 684-3265; Fax: (513)
684-3269; DC office (202) 224-3353; or Sherrod Brown’s office:
You can say, for example, the following: “I am calling to ask
that Senator Voinovich do everything in his power to stop
Bernard Pastor (A#076-432-989) from being deported. Bernard
would qualify for the DREAM Act, as he has been in the US since
he was 3 years old, was top 5 in his high school class, and
dreams of serving his community by becoming a pastor. Please
introduce a private bill for Bernard, and please support and
work to pass the DREAM Act. Thank you.”