best of the valley
dulce matuz - dream weaver
Food and Restaurants
Lifestyle and Entertainment
Shopping And Services
For free monthly updates, event invitations and exclusive deals, sign-up for our newsletter!
Best of the Valley
Dulce Matuz - Dream Weaver
November, 2012, Page 108
Photography by Brendan Moore
A self-described “minority to the fourth power,” Dulce Matuz, 27, never imagined TIME magazine would name her one of the most influential people in the world.
“I come from a low-income family, I’m a woman, I’m a Latina and I am undocumented,” she says, ticking off her credentials.
Matuz has lived in Arizona for 12 years and is on her way to becoming a citizen, but the process is long and complicated. Though she is undocumented, she’ll tell you she has plenty of documents, including a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University. As a student, she launched the Arizona Dream Act Coalition to fight Proposition 200, passed in 2004, which took away merit-based scholarships from undocumented immigrants and charged them out-of-state tuition. She was arrested in 2010, along with other “Dreamers,” during a nonviolent civil disobedience action in John McCain’s office.
She is intent on bringing about immigration reform. “The immigration system is very outdated. It’s not working,” she says. “We need legislation like the Dream Act that would allow children who were brought here as minors to stay in this country. For a lot of us, America is all we know.”
Border-enforcement advocates in Arizona are passionately opposed to the Dream Act. Governor Jan Brewer passed an executive order on August 15 denying any state or local public benefits to undocumented immigrants who qualify for temporary legal status in the U.S., in opposition of the Obama administration’s new deferred deportation rules. Matuz calls it a “direct attack to immigrant youth... I think she needs to stop bullying the Dreamers and stop attacking the children and youth who were brought here [as] minors.”
Matuz doesn’t hesitate to question Brewer’s knowledge of immigration laws: “I don’t know what her level of education is, or maybe she’s just playing politics, but there’s a lot of terms that she’s been using interchangeably on her executive order, like legal status and authorized status. In immigration law, those terms have very specific meanings.”
Those are the kind of unvarnished fighting words that have made Matuz a darling of the immigration-reform movement. She’s intent on fighting for equal educational opportunities for all immigrants, and she’s setting the bar high. “Immigration is the world’s problem. It’s important that America does the morally right thing. How we treat immigrants is going to define the tone for the rest of the world. Sometimes, it takes a little bit of time, but in the end, I think we always make the right decision.”
For information on supporting the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, visit
© 2007 Copyright Phoenix Magazine 15169 N. Scottsdale Road Suite C310 Scottsdale Arizona 85254
Travel & Outdoors
Best of The Valley
Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine
Advertise With Us
Web Site Design