San Diego Immigrants Go Public With Undocumented Status

By Diana Guevara
|  Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013  |  Updated 8:11 AM PDT
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Jose Gonzales shares what it's like to open up about his immigration status. Diana Guevara reports.

Jose Gonzales shares what it's like to open up about his immigration status. Diana Guevara reports.

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It is a political statement that is causing a lot of controversy: Thousands of immigrants are going public with their undocumented status this week.

It is part of the national "Coming Out of The Shadows" week.

This is the first time a San Diego group is taking part in this national campaign.

“There are some things some issues that we don’t bring to the spotlight and we hope through acts of non-violence and peace, putting a banner up, it will show that we want to be inclusive," said Jose Gonzalez, an undocumented San Diego Mesa College student.

Gonzalez says although it is liberating to come out, it is more about political strategy.

Gonzalez was one of eight San Diego undocumented youth who came out of the shadows and into the streets Tuesday.

They call themselves the "San Diego DREAM Team."

They are a grass roots organization that gives support to more than two dozen undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. illegally as young children.

From today’s banner drop in City Heights, to an online campaign sharing stories of undocumented youth – the group hopes to send a message about the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

“I really hope that comprehensive immigration reform passes because deferred action is not enough. It's only a temporary relief that it provides me and I'm trying to plan out of my future and with this uncertainty I can't really make much plans,” said Carolina Valdivia, an undocumented SDSU student.

The "Coming Out of the Shadows" campaign started in Chicago back in March of 2010, when hundreds of undocumented youth took to the streets declaring they were no longer afraid to reveal their status.

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