Why Songwriter Megan Keely Chose to Take a Stand as an Ally for Dreamers

Black Panther is Undocumented

Get the exclusive movie viewing guide!

Featured Blog post

Why Songwriter Megan Keely Chose to Take a Stand as an Ally for Dreamers

I want to draw people into the conversation if they are hesitant or intimidated by the complexities of the debate.

My name is Megan Keely, and I’m a singer-songwriter based in San Francisco.

My mom immigrated from the Philippines to the United States with her family in 1960 when she was just three years old. She, along with her parents and siblings, were naturalized through my lolo (grandfather), who worked for the U.S. military. America’s immigration policy at that time not only offered my family a path towards a better future, but it also allowed them to fully participate in shaping, building, and contributing to the American experience. If they weren’t able to follow their dreams, I would not be here today.

Listen to more of Megan’s story.

Not everyone understands exactly how much of an impact Dreamers and their families make in our country, and a vocal faction are, unfortunately, conveying a message that pulls us away from our American ideals and potential. I see aspirational Americans as a integral members of communities.  I see new immigrants who hold the same hopes to contribute to American society as my grandparents had.

That’s why I care about true, common-sense immigration reform. This will create a clear path to citizenship for Dreamers and their families. These Dreamers are our friends, our neighbors. I know many Dreamers personally who are like family to me, and I am heartbroken by the way our current administration has catapulted them into a state of fear and uncertainty. Their lives are hanging in the balance, and we must fix America’s broken immigration system before it’s too late.

I first started channeling my songwriting towards this issue in 2013 when the DREAM Act was picking up traction. I wanted to use my voice to elevate the message, so I contributed my song Dream It Now to support Davis Guggenheim’s documentary The Dream Is Now.

In September 2017, when I first heard of the President’s plans to rescind DACA, I turned to songwriting again as a way to channel my sadness, anxiety, anger, and fear. I was in a hotel room watching the news, and when I turned the TV on mute, the verse and chorus materialized instantly. I finished writing Define American that afternoon with a deep sense of urgency, and my friends pulled together a music video in less than a week to help amplify the message.

I want to look back thirty years from now and know I was on the right side of history, taking a stand as an ally for Dreamers during these unstable times. I want to empower Dreamers and allies to hold onto their dreams for a better future. I want to draw people into the conversation if they are hesitant or intimidated by the complexities of the debate. I want to deepen the conversation around citizenship and immigration. Most of all, I want to lend my voice to the underrepresented heroes who hold this country together and make America better. I hope all those who are moving these ideas forward can help others realize America’s true potential and promise. We still have a chance to fix this, and we must.

 

 

In the morning they wake up like you and I do

Brush their teeth and go to work like you and I do

Call their mom to say hello like you and I do

Rest their head when they are home like you and I do

 

Who are you to say they haven’t earned their right to stay

They are more brave and just and true than any one of you

Charging forward on the front line, how do you Define American

 

When they were born they cried out like you and I did

Learned to walk and learned to talk like you and I did

But when they tried to learn to drive like you and I did

They were told to run and hide or say goodbye

 

Who are you to say they haven’t earned their right to stay

They are more brave and just and true than any one of you

Charging forward on the front line, how do you Define American

 

Define American

Define American

Let's Talk

Create change, one story at a time.