DREAMers advocate asylum for immigrant children

Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, film-maker and self-proclaimed "Undocumented American"

"Poverty is so real in Honduras which is the capital of violence in the world," Jose Luis Zelaya said.

Zelaya shared his journey to the United States at a press conference in front of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen Thursday afternoon.

He was stabbed in the head, shot in the arm and lost his brother to disease before making the decision to leave his home country.

"It is true what these children behind me are going through," he said. "They are escaping gang violence."

Zelaya is a dreamer, caught in legal limbo living without citizenship in a country he has called home for 13 years.

United We Dream, La Union de Pueblo Entero and local immigration advocates to stand in solidarity with the immigrant children from Central America now flooding the Rio Grande Valley.

"I would argue that many Texans would agree with me that what is happening is fundamentally Un-American," Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, film-maker and self-proclaimed "Undocumented American," said.

Vargas was just 12- years-old when his family smuggled him from the Philippines by plane.

He said he can relate to the Central American immigrant children traveling alone to the U.S. seeking asylum.

Vargas is disappointed with the way politicians, including Governor Rick Perry have handled the surge of immigrant children.

"Governor Perry was one of the first Governors to sign an instate tuition for undocumented youth here in Texas," Vargas said. "Does he now agree that the same youth should be deported?"

Vargas believes American ideals do not agree with the current deportation of immigrant children and dreamers.

He said the immigration influx has blurred lines between immigration reform and national security and instead of sorting out solutions another crisis is now at hand.

"We have a political stalemate, a political crisis and in the middle of that we have this refugee crisis," Vargas said.

Dreamers are calling for leaders to put politics aside and give asylum to this new wave of immigrant children.

United We Dream is holding a three-day vigil for the immigrant children at Sacred Heart Catholic Charities.

You can find out more information at their website here.