When I was growing up, I was reminded on a regular basis of the important heritage that came before me – Mormon Pioneers who crossed the plains and who endured incredible hardships to come to a place where they could worship as they wanted to. As they settled in
These were my ancestors. Many of them made the pioneer trek from the eastern
Throughout my life I have thought about what it must have been like for them to come to a new country. Many of them didn’t speak English, some were single mothers with small children, others were fathers who left their families back home. Every circumstance was a little bit different, but their hardships were similar. I have always felt deep gratitude for their sacrifices. In this age of cell phones, laptop computers and air conditioned vehicles, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for them.
I was reminded of my pioneer heritage again last night. A few weeks ago I agreed to host several college-aged students at my home. They would be traveling from
And so, last night at about arrived at my front door. We fed them pizza and put everyone in the backyard with their sleeping bags, laptop computers and cell phones charging in every available outlet. They marveled at the beautiful
The Dream-Freedom Team - CA to DC
in Cedar City, Utah with the Hollingshead Family
(Emily, Chas and Sam)
I listened closely to their stories. Most of them had come as small children with their parents, all had graduated from an American high school and had graduated from or were about to graduate from an American university. These students came from places like UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, and others. They were now either working as political activists, volunteering for non-profit organizations, or getting ready to attend graduate school. All of them were passionate about “The Dream Act” and its possibilities for future generations of undocumented immigrant youth.
Some of their parents came here legally, some did not. Whatever their parents’ current status, I didn’t think about it too much…. because, as I listened to their dreams, I could only think about what incredible people their parents must be: people who came to our country wanting to make life better for their children. They didn’t squander that opportunity, but instead they helped their children to excel.
Many times I hear rhetoric that the “illegals” are using all of our resources, taking all of our jobs, and never giving anything in return. The people who believe this to be true probably have never had the opportunity to meet people like those who slept on my back lawn last night. Whatever their parents have done, their children speak volumes about what it means to seek out the “American Dream” and what it really means to seek a better life for your children.
I wish my new friends the very best on their journey. When they reach
I have always believed that The Dream Act was a fabulous way to offer any undocumented youth an opportunity for citizenship. I have never understood opposition to this legislation, and yet there are many who don't understand or who just don't believe that the American Dream should be available to anybody willing to seek it. Isn't hard work and giving back to country what we are all about?
In my view, these kids are definitely what
I wish them all the success in the world. Safe travels, and sweet dreams.