I use the handle “kyledeb” to make it easier on folks who have to suffer through spelling my last name, but my full name is Kyle de Beausset and when I’m not here at Citizen Orange you can find me on twitter and facebook. I am a Senior Campaigner at Presente.org, but the views I express on Citizen Orange are my own unless otherwise indicated.
I was born and raised in Guatemala of U.S. citizen parents, making me a dual citizen of both countries. I spent my early life on a shrimp farm on the rural South Pacific coast and was educated in Guatemala city at an international school. Moving between rural and urban Guatemala and spending summers in the U.S. made me conscious of global inequity at a very young age. The love and values bestowed upon me by my family helped me channel the injustice I saw growing up into a desire to change the world for the better.
I moved to the Boston area to go to college, quickly grew restless, and decided to do something which years later I would realize was idiotic. In 2006, inspired by the millions of pro-migrant demonstrators marching on the streets in opposition to the horrific immigration bill H.R. 4437, and determined to connect the two worlds I grew up in and at war within myself, I decided to retrace the route of a Guatemalan migrant into the U.S. and stupidly almost lost my life doing it.
Still, I learned a lot, blogged about it, and soon was connected to a network of pro-migrant organizations around the U.S. Most importantly, I was connected to a budding undocumented youth movement online at the same time that I was being taught how to organize locally by the Student Immigrant Movement in Boston. Before I knew it, I was moving university presidents to speak out in favor of the DREAM Act, stopping deportations, meeting with lawmakers, and organizing in Maine.
I’m the founder of Citizen Orange and my writing and commentary have been featured in the Associated Press, the Bay State Banner, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake, the Harvard Crimson, Maine Public Radio, National Public Radio, New America Media, and the Portland-Press Herald. I’ve spoken at Bates College, Boston College, Harvard, Middlebury College, the National Conference for Media Reform, Netroots Nation, and Yale. I’ve appeared on several local television media outlets, including Univision and Fox 25. I even made appearances on MTV during the 2008 election cycle and on the O'Reilly Factor when I got the founder of the Minutemen thrown off Harvard's Campus.
I am an immigration attorney in private practice in Philadelphia. In law school, I studied international law, trade, and human rights. I spent time in school studying and working in Latin America.
The way citizens treat migrants provides insight into the way we view our
position in our communities, both local and global. If once, all politics
was local, now all politics is global. Goods, capital, and ideas travel
freely and speedily around the world—then why not the people who make those
products, earn that capital, and create those ideas?
By recognizing that each of us may one day be a migrant, we can recognize
that our common humanity transcends arbitrary accidents of geography. This
realization can lead us toward policies that benefit migrants and citizens
alike in the best tradition of this migrant nation.
Just as a disclaimer, The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect
the views of any of the organizations the bloggers work with or the
publications we write for. Each blogger retains complete editorial control
over his or her posts at Citizen Orange and our writing here is only a
reflection of each blogger's own personal views.