Wooten Gough

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Wooten Gough is a community organizer who has recently been working for the Latin American Coalition and leading youth groups in Yadkin County. Gough is the co-founder of Students United for Immigrant Equality at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which he formed after attended trainings and working with the Reform Immigration for America (RIFA) Campaign. Gough withdrew from his second semester at UNC to walk the Trail of DREAMS to Washington D.C. in support of the DREAM Act. He was arrested for participating in a sit-in at the White House in 2010. In this interview, Gough describes the community he grew up in and how the friends he made encouraged his participation in the immigrant rights movement. Gough talks about inequalities his undocumented students faced in the education system and whether or not those employed at the school knew of the students' situation. Wooten also speaks about the DREAM Act and of various laws that affect undocumented students.



Ariel Eure: I'm here with Wooten Gough a community organizer and participant
in the immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. Wooten, where were you
Wooten Gough: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
AE: And where did you grow up?
WG: Eastbend, North Carolina, also U.S.A.
AE: How far have you gone in school?
WG: Uh, one semester, first year of college, probably.
AE: Where did you go to college?
WG: I went to UNC Chapel Hill.
AE: Why did you only stay at UNC for that first year?
WG: Interesting question Ariel. I ended up walking to Washington D.C. with a
group of students called the Trail of Dreams.
AE: How far did your parents go in school?
WG: Both my mother and father have an Associate's degree. So that's how far
they went.
AE: How do you think your parents felt about the importance of education?
WG: Well my mom cares. Education is very important to her. She freaked out
when I left UNC. My father, I don't really know how he feels about education or
anything to be honest with you.
AE: Did you grow up around a significantly Latino population?
WG: Not when I was young. I didn't really start hanging out with a lot of Latino
people until I was in high school.
AE: Why do you think so many Latinos have been migrating to the United States
and North Carolina specifically?
WG: Well probably many reasons. One of them is the opportunities here, right?
So jobs that immigrants can get or are solicited. I know from Yadkinville at least
like the farmers need people to pick their crops and sow their crops and tend to
the fields and immigrants come here to do that work to provide for their families.
Another situation could be for survival. I know like Colombia if you stay there
your ass is grass. So people, all of my Colombian friends have like left guerrilla
warfare, which I would have done the same thing. Now why they come to North
Carolina is beyond me because I would go to California personally. But I think
also North Carolina is still kind of in the farming industry, I don't know if that's a
real industry but some type of field because I think that's where a lot of our
workers here are [sic] in like the plowing, the sowing, the picking and all the
crops. That's what I assume.
AE: For those migrants who don't work with agriculture, what kind of jobs do
they tend to have in North Carolina?
WG: I see a lot of immigrants working in the restaurant businesses, usually busing
the tables or even being the waiter or waitress, and usually of Mexican
restaurants. I know that's stereotypical but Mexican restaurants tend to be hiring
more Latinos and immigrants that other restaurants. At least that's what I've
AE: When did you learn what it meant to be undocumented? Or even the word
WG: Well I heard of the word "undocumented" in the year 2009.1 heard "no
papers" before then when I was in high school but the actual word undocumented
I didn't hear until about 2009.1 didn't really understand what it meant then. I
thought it was just a Latino thing and not like an immigration issue, broad, but
what I gathered at that moment was that I just saw my friends couldn't do the
things that I could do because of that word, because they were undocumented.
AE: Could you talk a little about the campaign to start using the word
"undocumented" instead of "illegal" when referring to people without papers?
WG: Which campaign?
AE: The "Drop the I-Word Campaign".
WG: Okay, cool. So actually my friend started that campaign, her name is Loan.
She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She wanted to do the "Drop the 1-Word
Campaign" because she's very into inclusivity and using language that doesn't
oppress certain communities. So, it's more than dropping the word "illegal" and I
say that with finger quotations, it's dropping any kind of language that implies
"illegal", like criminal or something that's dehumanizing. I think that's it's
awesome because it kind of, well it's at least a stepping stone to talking to
someone to let [sic] them see undocumented people in a different light.
AE: Did you have any undocumented friends growing up in your community?
WG: Yeah, I knew of like three or four but there probably were several many
others that hid that they were undocumented [sic]. When I was in high school,
three of my very very very close friends, I'm not going to say their last names, but
Elder, Areli and Elibeth, were undocumented and I [sic] went to four years of
high school with them. So I was kind of already past the growing up part, but they
were definitely in my life for years.
AE: Why do you think those other students who were undocumented chose to
hide their status as opposed to your friends that you knew about?
WG: Because it's this huge secret. The fear is that if someone knows you're
undocumented you're going to get deported, that immigration is going to come
after you. They're going to come after your families. So to keep everyone safe
around you and to keep yourself safe you just don't talk about it. Also I think
because we lived in a very very very small town with a lot of [pause] um people
who don't experience other types of people. It just further [pause] assured them
not to say it to anyone because of where we lived.
AE: How is your undocumented friends' education different from yours?
WG: Well, first of all [pause] when I was in high school, the things that I had to
think about were different, right? So what I was in high school for was different
than my undocumented friend Elder. When I was in high school I didn't have to
worry about what am I going to do when I graduate? For me, the answer was
always to go to college. It wasn't even a question. I never had to worry about it,
but to him, it was a question such as "am I going to go back to Mexico, am I
going to stay here, what am I going to do? Am I going to try to find a job under
the table?" And that was just him. I'm sure that some students might think about,
"well am 1 even going to stay in high school? Am I going to leave it now? Why
am I even here if I can't go to college? Why would I go to college if I can't get a
degree?" None of those questions ever popped up in my mind. My education was
just way easier because I didn't have to deal with that. My college education is
also different in financial aspects, like I can get federal financial aid and my
undocumented friends could not. I could at least apply to any school and my
undocumented friends couldn't. I think that a financial burden was not really there
for me and it sure is for them [laughing].
AE: Do you believe it's pretty difficult for undocumented students to stay
motivated in high school? And if so what do you think are solutions to keep them
motivated and to keep them continuing their education?
WG: I know that I would be very unmotivated if I was undocumented and I was
in high school. If I knew that I couldn't get a license, I couldn't get a job, I
couldn't do anything, I was brought here at a young age and wasn't really a part
of that decision making process, and all these people the people around me
doesn't even know me, hearing on the news that I'm this and I'm that, and usually
all bad things, I would be so discouraged to even care. Who knows that I would
do? I wouldn't be motivated to wake up in the morning to go. I wouldn't be
motivated to try to push myself in any type of positive direction. I'd probably just
sleep all day. Negative alternatives would become easier, like getting into gangs
would become easier because people would probably understand my point of
view in a gang because they might be like me, feeling depressed and feeling like
they just don't belong. So yeah, I totally would not be motivated and I think
undocumented students go through that when they're in high school. A solution?
It would be really strenuous to talk to every undocumented person one-on-one.
But something that I know Forbush High School has is this thing called "early
college". You leave eighth grade and you do like a college/high school
combination for five years. When you graduate after that fifth year you get your
high school diploma and an Associate's degree. It's not this whole you have to
apply as a separate thing and that. It's constitutionally guaranteed for everyone as
if it was just high school. That's something that I hear being thrown around or
I've heard being thrown around is that to go into the eighth grade classes and give
those types of teach-ins or seminars to parents and students. If you're
undocumented you can get a college education and you can get it for free or for a
high school fee by doing the whole "early college" thing.
AE: Did their teachers in high school, the teachers of your undocumented friends,
know about their situation?
WG: [pause] Well, when I was in high school, I'm not sure if the teachers knew
about it. I know now though, since I've gone back into the high schools in my
home county that some of them do. The Spanish teacher does, the ESL teacher
definitely does, and I made sure to talk to the guidance counselor, and they
already knew. Which is a plus, because usually guidance counselors don't even
know. But what happens is none of the teachers know so when a kid who is
undocumented but still has hope and wants to try and they go talk to a teacher and
they say "well I don't have my papers", oftentimes the teacher and/or guidance
counselor tells them just to stop because there's nothing they can do, when there
is. When I was in high school, I'm not sure if they knew, but I know now that
some of them do know about the whole "undocumented" and the students in the
school who are undocumented. It's a plus.
AE: Did your undocumented friends in high school see college as an option in
their future or did they see working or returning back home as more realistic of an
WG: It was more realistic for my undocumented friends to think about going back
to Mexico or finding an off-the-wall job here. But I think that of all of my friends
only one person got a job here and everyone else went back to Mexico. Some of
the students that I have worked with in the past that are in high school now are
telling me if something doesn't happen like the DREAM Act of administrative
relief by the president, they will also go back to their home country, somehow,
because they don't want to like physically be here but can't do anything else.
AE: In your opinion, what is the value or receiving a college degree as an
undocumented student even if you may not be able to legally use that degree in
the future?
WG: What is the value? [pause] I don't know, I don't even know if that can be
measured. I mean the monetary value is really high because shit's really
expensive but [pause] sorry, I'm trying to think of how I want to answer this.
AE: Would you say that it's worth it for an undocumented student to get a college
WG: I think that it's better to definitely strive to get a college degree just because
if something does happen you have that. Like if you were stopped or sent back to
your home country you have a degree under your belt so that's always good. Or if
something happens in this country you then have a degree. I don't know this but
maybe private corporations can hire undocumented people, I'm not really sure
about that at all. I really just now am thinking that. I have no idea. But it'd be a
huge accomplishment. Actually, two weeks ago the first undocumented student
that we know of graduated from law school, which is pretty awesome. His name
is Jose and he's from Florida.
AE: Can you explain what the DREAM Act is and why it is significant in the
WG: Yes. There's been several versions of the DREAM Act, but the DREAM
Act mat a lot of us campaigned for recently, that version is a piece of legislation
that would provide a ten-year pathway to citizenship if undocumented
students... first of all reached all of the qualifications such as they've had to have
graduated from a high school in the U.S., they've had to be here at least since they
were sixteen or before they were sixteen, I don't remember that point, and then
they have to go through two years of college or two years of military service and
then during [sic] that ten years they'd be like a fake permanent resident. They
would get a green card and license as if you're a permanent resident and then you
become a citizen within ten years. That's extremely important because we have
all these kids here and it's unrealistic to say we're going to deport everybody. We
have to fix something. We need something comprehensive, something really big,
and the DREAM Act is important because it could lead to that. Also the DREAM
Act is important because we have all these lives waiting on the line that are ready
to move forward and honestly the U.S. could totally benefit from something like
the DREAM Act passing, these bright students, or even your average student,
because everyone has something to contribute if given the chance. That's what the
DREAM Act would do, give the ones who want to contribute a chance to give
AE: It's been said that the DREAM Act is being reintroduced this year. What do
you think are the chances that it'll pass even though it failed to pass in the Senate
in December of 2010?
WG: I think that the chances of it passing this year are [sic] very slim. We have
thirty-two Senators that signed onto a letter recently, but we only have fifty yes
votes if it were to come up right now. The House is very Republican like super-majority,
so I don't see it passing this year. But it is awesome that it's coming
back up. That's good, it's still on everyone's mind. Obama actually recently
created an ad and he's using the DREAM Act somewhat as a platform for his
campaign. He said something like "Obama supports the DREAM Act" and side
note underneath that "click here if you want to donate money", which is
interesting because he's promoting the DREAM Act to get money from his
campaign and someone came out with an article saying "you can't fool us, we
want the DREAM Act and we're not going to give your money for your campaign
because you're talking about the DREAM Act". I don't think it's going to pass to
be honest this year, not the DREAM Act. We need something administrative,
straight from Obama that we don't have to rely on Congress to pass through first.
AE: [mumble] The superstars almost in this movement for the DREAM Act have
been very exceptional students in school, active in community service and
extracurricular activities, just very bright students. Do you feel that those students
who are kind of the forerunners of this movement, is that a common thing, or do
you think that these are exactly what they are, exceptional students, and that the
majority of undocumented students don't have the same kind of academic,
extracurricular, community service success as the people who are in the spotlight
in this movement do?
WG: I'm glad that you asked this question because a lot of those exceptional
student leaders that you bring up or talk about say that they feel [pause] wrong
sometimes promoting just that face. They feel like the iminigrant youth
population has to put on this face of being perfect all the time. In a way, even
though we're trying to humanize undocumented youth, it's dehumanizing as well
to show that they can't falter. A lot of stories popped up over last year especially,
DREAM Act coming up for a vote, and we saw alt these amazing youth and how
they excelled, and they spoke like seven languages, and they want to build music
therapy centers for autistic children, and all these great and wonderful things. But
the reality is, that there's a lot of undocumented youth here that are like your
typical high schooler. That's the other face. The youth that I work with, or used to
work with in Yadkin County, they're just like me when I was in high school.
They're just like my sister who was in high school. Some of them are doing great
things but some of them are also doing, well some of them are doing exceptional
things but some of them are doing great things that are normal for their age as
well. I think that we kind of overlook them in search for that perfect immigrant.
AE: What do you think the effect of losing DREAM students in the future may
be, whether they start increasing deportations of these students or these students
start returning back home because they don't have many options in the U.S.? How
do you think that is going to alter U.S. society, if it will alter it at all?
WG: Well it would alter it in many ways and I think that we won't notice it at
first. I learned through my friends who are different nationalities than me that
there's also a difference in the values that we have. Something that is very
important to me is maybe second in importance to someone who is from Germany
or from someone who is from Russia or even from like Zimbabwe or something,
so that difference of values will change and I don't know if that will positively or
negatively affect America but I feel like diversity is never a bad thing [laughs].
Also I think competitively the U.S. will become weakened if we don't have the
minds of a broad worldly way of thinking and that's kind of what we've survived
on anyways thus far.
AE: To play devil's advocate here do you think that it would be good for the
sending nations of these students to receive these students back into their country
so they can help develop their own country abroad?
WG: I really don't know. Maybe in some cases, but I feel like a lot of times also
and I read this from a book that's called The World is Flat that the brightest
students from many countries aspire to come here to the U.S. after they've
graduated high school or college to become the best here. I don't know if they
stay here or come back but the world is so connected now it's almost one in the
same. Like if this bright mind is in India or the bright mind is in the U.S., they're
probably doing work for both and both are benefitting and it's probably the same
individuals. I really don't know as much about that honestly, that aspect of it.
AE: Are there any laws in your county that affect undocumented students?
WG: Yes. I live in Forsyth County but I do a lot of the work in Yadkin County
and Yadkin County has what's called "Secure Communities". That's a policy
where if someone gets pulled over or something happens the police officers can
act as an immigration officer. Which sounds good, like "Secure Communities"
sounds like something that we would all support and in fact who doesn't want
safe communities, however the exact opposite is happening because we've
noticed and we've felt and we've witnessed and even studied and took polls and
surveys that this policy, with 287(g) has just allowed police officers to get away
with racial profiling. They see someone who is brown or they see a person of
color or someone who is Hispanic and they'll intentionally pull them over because
they assume that person is undocumented because they're of [sic] Latino descent.
Communities that should be secure are in fact in terror of police officers now.
And Yadkin County is one of them.
AE: What other laws affect undocumented students and their ability to go to
WG: It varies by state. In North Carolina [pause] the only law I can think of
besides not having the DREAM Act is this House Bill called HBl 1 which has not
passed yet, it's still in the House as far as I know. If it was [sic] passed it would
ban undocumented students from community colleges, public universities. Other
than that the only law that's serving as a barrier is the out-of-state tuition
component of it. Which is like saying, "here, we'll accept you" but really not
allowing it [sic]. I mean I know if I had to pay out-of-state tuition I couldn't. My
friends who have been living here since they were two months, paying out-of-state
tuition, that's what's really killing us now.
AE: What do you think the reasoning is behind making undocumented students
pay out-of-state tuition from an administrative level?
WG: Probably to play it safe. The progressive part is that undocumented students
can go to college in North Carolina. The conservative part is they have to pay out-of-
state tuition. I view it as playing it safe, giving both sides something. Also in a
way would help the economy if people were doing it but it's so expensive that no
one's doing it [laughs].
AE: What do you feel most undocumented students have to do to pay this out-of-state
tuition if they are able to go to college?
WG: A strenuous search of scholarships that don't require a social security
number or they find sponsors, which I've only heard of like two people who
really in the entire state have found a sponsor to pay their way to college. So what
do they do to get around it? They try and try and try and usually they can't get
around it so they'll take like one or two classes a year and they'll be in college for
like twelve years.
AE: Do you think North Carolina is hostile to the immigrant population?
WG: Yes and no, depends on where in the state. For example, Durham, I feel like
is very welcome to all types of communities, whether it's undocumented, LGBT,
women, workers, but then there's places like Yadkinville which 1 have one of my
teams in that t consider hostile. To be undocumented there would be extremely
scary and it is scary because you're subject to any type of slurs, racial comments,
and even violence. It just depends on where you are in the state.
AE: What drew you to working with immigrant rights?
WG: It was my friends in high school. When my friend Elder had to go back to
Mexico when he graduated I was like, "I would like to somehow do something so
this doesn't happen to anyone else". When I went to UNC, it was the beginning of
the semester so all the clubs were having their interest meetings so I went to a few
and from what I felt and saw that there was nothing really happening as far as
immigrant rights and immigrant organizing from within UNC. So, I made a club. I
made my own club and I didn't really know what I was doing at first, a lot of
learning from mistakes, and it's where I met you, Ariel, and Wendy. It was
basically us three at the beginning.
AE: What have been your most significant experiences as an activist?
WG; There are [sic] a lot a lot of experiences that have been significant. But I
would say one of the most recent ones happened in Memphis about a month ago.
It was with this network called United We Dream, it was their national congress
so we had youth from all over the country gather in Memphis, Tennessee to
discuss how to stop the deportation of DREAMers. A lot of times throughout the
congress we were pushing and empowering undocumented youth to come out and
a lot of the empowerment and inspiration came from other undocumented youth.
But there was this one session that was created by this DREAMer named Jorge,
he wanted to create a space to merge two struggles and two opportunities at the
same time and that was LGBT rights and immigrant rights. This one guy named
Tony in front of like two hundred people for his first time ever came out as being
gay. In that space people who are undocumented looked at queer people as their
brother and sister and vice versa and those labels seemed to me to completely just
disappear. It felt so strong. I knew that the undocumented people would have the
gay people's back and the gay people would have the undocumented people's
back. There have [sic] also been a lot of other significant moments, but I think
one that's really interesting is to know where all of us have come from, a lot of
the regular everyday people doing great things. For example, Ariel, [laughs] so
when you see three hundred people marching from the pit at UNC through
downtown from one student's passion and like created it within a day that's what
we have in the movement over and over again, everyday people who are
extremely driven doing extraordinary things and I think that's really significant
and says a lot for our movement.
AE: Can you explain the concept of coming out of the shadows in the immigrant
rights movement and explain if that's been effective or not?
WG: First of all, the shadows. The shadows kind of mean, when someone's
undocumented they're not in any of the systems, they don't have documentation.
If they get a job they have to do it under the table. They have to oftentimes hide
from police officers. There's this whole sense of living in the shadows, living
underground. When someone comes out, they publically state that they're
undocumented and it's like them coming into the light, bringing their story,
bringing their physical face to the story and to public view. That's what it means
to come out of the shadows. The importance of that, I feel like it has completely
driven our movement and our movement would not be here at all if
undocumented youth did not have the amount of courage that they have to be
coming out like they do. I really think that that has been the feet of our movement,
meaning like it's taking the movement forward, and our movement would
probably be a shell of a movement without it.
AE: What type of actions have you been involved with in North Carolina and do
you think they've made any sort of impact in the state?
WG: I was indirectly involved in this hunger strike that took place in downtown
Raleigh. Three courageous, strong, undocumented women went twelve days
without eating food and slept outside of the Capitol building on the grass across
the street in a tent to get Senator Kay Hagan to vote "yes" on the DREAM Act.
That action was so significant because it was the first time where everyone knew
where they could find someone who was undocumented. People would come up
to them and be like, "this is what undocumented looks like" and sometimes it was
dangerous and angry statements that would come out, but because of them, it put
North Carolina on the DREAM Act as a stand-alone movement put them on the
map for that. Also, Kay Hagan read the bill because of them and all the media and
the community that was built up around that.
AE: Do you think that there's any sort of conflict within the movement?
WG: I mean of course there is [sic]. A movement that involves so many people
and so many lives that are on the line, everyone is so passionate about getting it
done right that there's disagreements. In any movement there are [sic] going to be
disagreements. In the immigration movement, there's sometimes difference of
[sic] opinions on comprehensive immigration reform versus relief for a smaller
population, such as just farmers or just student youth or just single mothers or
something like that. There are [sic] also conflicts on how allies fit into the
movement, people who are citizens or permanent residents, how they fit into the
movement versus how undocumented people fit into the movement But again all
of it [pause] is out of true passion, some of it is out of desperation, anger, which
again is completely understandable because it's lives we're talking about. It's not
just a game, it's not just a campaign it's not just an action or just a media hit when
someone's sharing their story. It's their story, it's real. When they leave the
platform, their story doesn't end. It's still real to that individual if they're
undocumented. The same thing for the allies, which I think is the biggest conflict
right now, is this whole allies versus undocumented. Unfortunately there's the
"versus" there. But we're pushing through it.
AE: How would you say the movement has grown or changed since the
beginning? When did the movement really take off in North Carolina?
WG: I feel like I'm still a newbie, honestly to the immigration movement. It's
been going on for decades now. But when I started, the movement was very, in
my eyes and my scope is very small because when I started I only knew what I
basically heard at trainings, so my scope was only that training, the movement
now at least in North Carolina is very very community led. People who are
leaders now are people who are directly affected or have come directly from the
community. A lot of the new leaders are beginners and I think the youth have
really stepped up. I think beforehand it might have been more of grown-ups, and
then youth doing some of the legwork, but now it's like no, youth have decided to
not only want to do the legwork but they want to do a lot of the inside-mind,
decision making, strategizing, planning, work of it. Which is beautiful; when one
youth steps up, it pushes all of us to step up around them. So the youth have
completely totally taken over in a positive way, have created their own space,
their own table in North Carolina for immigrant rights. They're actually getting a
lot of things done. That's the change I've seen.
AE: What would you say to those people who argue that undocumented students
are taking up a seat for a citizen in the university system?
WG: I think that it's an easy talking point to fall into, like "oh my gosh, yes they
are taking something from you!" But honestly, when someone is getting
something it doesn't mean something is taking away from anybody else.
Personally I think it's a weak statement. But the thing is, if you get accepted by
the university, then you were given that seat, you're not taking it. So when
someone else is like, "they have that seat and I don't", well, it's because you
didn't get accepted into the university. Universities want the best. The United
States wants the best, it aspires to be the best and oftentimes boasts that it already
is the best. When you have someone who's undocumented in college it's because
they earned that spot, not because they took it from anybody, but it's like their
rightful place. I often think that if there's an undocumented person and men a
citizen, if they want to go to college, both of them can, it doesn't have to be only
one or the other.
AE: How do you feel the political environment is currently towards
undocumented students?
WG: I think politically in the eyes of the legislators we've done a great great job
of putting a very positive face to the undocumented student, in their eyes. But
then of course there are [sic] these other organizations that are anti-immigrant,
they'll always be anti-immigrant, but as far as politically, I feel like we have
several legislators in the House and in the Senate who are down with DREAMers
even if they're not supporting us with their votes, which is a problem. They
support us internally in their hearts, which is a foot in the right direction. 1 don't
know if that answers your question. I think that at first we had this sense of
undocumented people didn't have a say in democracy because they can't vote, but
undocumented people have been getting smarter and registering people. They're
registering a lot of people to vote and in key states where it'll come out to be the
undocumented people were the reason why a state went one way and not the
other. They completely can participate in a democratic country and they have
been all along anyways.
AE: Why do you think some of these legislators as you said were "down with the
DREAMers" aren't voting necessarily in their favor?
WG: Well probably because of the obvious thing you hear a lot, that they want to
be reelected. They might think or feel that their constituency doesn't support it,
even though they do. An example of that, or kind of like a reverse example, is that
this one Senator, I don't remember where she was from, maybe Kansas or Idaho,
was not going to vote for the DREAM Act, but she personally was completely for
it to the point of during the day of the vote she was in tears. She decided to vote
"yes" even though her constituency was telling her to vote "no". Why do I think
that these people are not voting? Because they want to get reelected, they want to
maintain a certain image to their constituencies. Maybe some of their funding is
from conservative hands, there are [sic] lots of reasons but I mean, none of them
are humane answers that are going to be like, "oh okay, now we understand".
AE: What do you think is going to be the toughest obstacle for undocumented
students concerning education in the future?
WG: The toughest obstacle concerning education? [pause] I don't know I feel like
we're at our toughest obstacle right now, which is the obstacle of not being able to
go. [pause] If the doors were to open free at a DREAM Act level, or at an in-state
level in North Carolina, I think the next obstacle might be the threats of such laws
and policies to be taken back after people have gotten assimilated into the
colleges. I think that would be a horrible obstacle. Right now, I think we're at our
toughest obstacle.
AE: One final question, what do you think the future holds for the DREAM Act,
for undocumented students going to school and for comprehensive immigration
reform in general? Do you see it going in a positive view a negative view and
what do you think specifically may happen?
WG: I think right now the "antis" and the conservative people and even the
Republicans all are gunning for their moment. When we add up the negative
things, it always seems to be really bad. But at the same time because of all of our
leaders on the ground we've totally stopped Arizona copycats in many states, we
have in-state now in a lot of states. I think that the future is going to be positive as
far as legislation goes. I honestly do. The President still has the DREAM Act in
his mouth on his mind and even on his campaign. The DREAM Act is about to be
reintroduced again this year and they know they have to give us something. They
know that all of the undocumented immigrants who came here a long time ago
and had children here are going to be voting citizens soon. They need to do
something or their ass is grass [laughs]. I totally see positive, pro-immigrant
legislation soon, at least administrative relief this year or the start of
administrative relief this year especially coming up with the elections.
AE: Thank you very much, Wooten.