Happy July

Happy July. In Utah, July is not only a celebration of American Independence, but also a month when we pay tribute to the founders who came before us, when we commemorate the Utah statehood.

When I was a kid, I remembered the important heritage regular who came before me - Mormon pioneers crossed the plains and suffered incredible hardships to get to a place to worship as they wished. As they settled in Utah, who sought the freedom and ability to live their American dreams and built a city and community of the land in a barren desert.

These were my ancestors. Many of them made the trip this pioneer of the United States after he emigrated from England, Sweden and Denmark. They came to America, not only for worship in a new religion, but also to follow their dreams of a better life in a new land.

Throughout my life I thought of what must have been for them to reach a new country. Many do not speak English, some were single mothers with young children, other parents who left their families back home. Every circumstance was a little different, but their difficulties are similar. I've always felt a deep gratitude for their sacrifices. In this age of cell phones, laptops and air-conditioned vehicle, I can not imagine what it must have been for them.

I remembered my pioneer heritage again last night. A few weeks ago I agreed to host a number of college-age students in my house. That would be traveling from southern California to Washington DC, and needed the friendly people across the country to provide food and lodging for one night. 12 students were making a "trip", which they called the "dream of freedom Ride" - heading to our nation's capital to take part in a march of three days in Washington. They join thousands of other young immigrants from around the country to mobilize and lobby U.S. senators to "The Dream Act." This legislation would allow undocumented immigrant children to pursue a college education and get a clear path to U.S. citizenship. They planned to lobby senators in each of the 15 states led by the hope of having their personal stories and share their visions of the American dream.

And so, last night at 8: 30 pm, 10 girls and two young men came to my door. We fed them pizza and put them all in the yard with their sleeping bags, laptops and mobile phones available on each output load. They marveled at the beautiful mountains of southern Utah and the clear sky - many of them had never been out of California.

I've heard their stories. Most them had arrived as toddlers with parents, everything had graduate secondary school American and had graduated or were about graduating an American university. These students came from places like UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and others. Now they were working either as political activists, voluntary non-profit organizations, or preparing to attend graduate school. All were passionate about "The Dream Act" and its possibilities for future generations of young illegal immigrants.

Some of their parents came here legally, others not. Whatever the current status of their parents did not think much about it .... because, as I listened to their dreams, I could only think about what amazing people that their parents should be: people who came to our country wanting to make life better for their children. Do not waste that opportunity, but instead, helped their children succeed.

I often hear the rhetoric that the "illegals" are using all our resources, taking all our jobs, and never give anything in return. People who believe this is true, it probably never had the opportunity to meet people as they slept in my back yard last night. What your parents have done, your children are talking a lot about what it means to seek the "American dream" and what it really means to seek a better life for their children.

I want my new friends the best in your journey. When they get to Washington, I hope you have the opportunity to meet with Senator Hatch, who was one of the original sponsors of the "Dream Act." I hope that as you travel through Denver, Omaha and Chicago, who have the opportunity, again and again, to tell their stories of what the American dream, and I hope that will change the hearts and minds the road.

I have always believed that the Dream Act was a great way to give young immigrants a chance for citizenship. I never understood the opposition to this legislation, yet many do not understand or simply do not believe the American dream should be available for anyone willing to look. Is not hard work and give the country what they are?

In my opinion, these children are without a doubt what America is all about. For those who say that undocumented workers are not contributing anything to our country, I disagree. What these first-generation immigrants have returned far exceeds anything that may have had, that we have given to their children. .. children who want to give something of value to their country and their communities. For many, the United States of America is the only home we've ever known, and they are passionate about making the American dream is available to all who want it.

I wish you every success in the world. Bon voyage, and sweet dreams.

Emily Bingham Hollingshead is a political consultant and Democratic activist in Utah. He has served as communications director of the Utah House Democrats and has worked on several legislative campaigns win.