Chasing a Dream deferred.
¡Americano! is a musical that tells the true story of Tony Valdovinos, a young Arizonan who had always dreamed of joining the United States Marines. When he tries to enlist on his 18th birthday, Tony discovers a secret his parents never told him: he is a “Dreamer” – an undocumented immigrant brought to the US when he was just 2 years old. Due to his immigration status, Tony’s enlistment was denied.
His dream might have been crushed, but Tony never accepted defeat. He helped inspire a political awakening among Arizona’s rising and young Latino electorate, playing a leading role in electing a Marine to U.S. Congress.
Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) is committed to a future in which all Dreamers enjoy the benefits of citizenship in the country for which they have lived, worked, and fought. But, this future is only possible when we can generate the political will to pass a legislative solution. Towards this end, CPLC has helped bring Tony’s story to a national audience in the first Arizona-birthed musical to open Off-Broadway in New York. This show will use the power of story to inform and inspire thousands of individuals about the unique plight of the Dreamers and the need for a long-term solution.
But until this solution is passed, thousands of Dreamers still see their dreams deferred; they lack access to an affordable college education and are not eligible for the financial aid available to their peers. “We are your daughters and mothers, and tax-paying brothers; students and teachers, your doctors and preachers; builders and planners, your artists and dancers; farmers and lawyers, your biggest supporters—American denizens,” sing the ¡Americano! characters. But it doesn’t matter if a Dreamer is valedictorian, your best prospect for a future employee, or the next member of your leadership team—they are treated as a stranger and punished as an outsider. Think of the lost human potential.
We need more leaders like Tony fighting for change. This is why CPLC is committed to empowering Dreamers via the CPLC Dreamers Scholarship Fund. This fund ensures that more Dreamers become the students, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and politicians of the future—leaders who can continue the fight for a long-overdue policy solution.