The Faces of Dreamers Across the Country

More than 15,000 Dreamers have already lost their DACA status since Donald Trump ended the program in 2017. As a result, he is forcing thousands of immigrants — who only know this country as their home — back into the shadows. Each day without a DREAM Act, more than 120 young immigrants lose their DACA protection — risking deportation and becoming vulnerable to losing their jobs, driver’s licenses, and ability to support their families. This is tearing families apart and making our communities less safe.

The lives of nearly 800,000 Dreamers are drastically changing for the worse, as the government they once trusted is pulling the rug out from under them. Dreamers are students, teachers, entrepreneurs, workers, first responders, nurses, activists and our neighbors. They deserve the opportunity to continue their contributions to the only country they know as home and that’s why Congress needs to pass a DREAM Act now.

Here some stories of the Dreamers who demand a DREAM Act now:

Ximena Magana, Texas

Ximena came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when she was 9 years old. Her dream is to join the U.S. Army.

“This is a fight that started from our parents. Our parents sacrificed so much to give us the opportunity for a better life.”

Nelson Melgar, New York

Nelson came to the United States with his undocumented parents and sisters from Honduras when he was 14 years old. Melgar works now as a community liaison with a state assemblyman.

“We want to make this country stronger. We want to be part of this country for generations to come.”

Kyungmin Cho, New Jersey

Kyungmin came to the United States from South Korea when he was 8 years old. He entered into a six-year contract with the U.S. Army through a military program called Military Accession Vital to the National Interest.

“I won’t know if I’m still eligible to go to the Army because even though I still have my contract in place, if my DACA status runs out I’ll be undocumented, and it threatens my legal status here in the U.S.”

Victor Garcia, Illinois

Victor came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was 2 years old. Now, he’s 19 and has called Rockford home for the last 14 years.

“Each day that there’s not a fix for DACA, it just means that there’s more DACA recipients who are losing their legal status.”

Ellie Perez, Arizona

Ellie came to the United States from Mexico with her parents when she was 4 years old. She became the first undocumented member of the Democratic National Committee in 2017.

“For DACA recipients and their loved ones, the terrifying reality is that our days of protection under this program are limited. My own permit expires in February 2019.”

Samuel Cervantes, Texas

Samuel came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was 5 years old. Cervantes and others have marched to Senator Cornyn’s office to demand passing a legislation to protect Dreamers.

“This is not a political issue, this is a human issue.”

Juan Carlos Rivera, South Carolina

Juan came to the United States with his parents. He is a DACA recipient whose family owns a business and employs other DACA workers.

“We all have to do our part in society and a business like this we create jobs.”

Leezia Dhalla, Texas

Lezzia came to the United States from Canada with his parents when she was 6 years old. Lezzia graduated from Northwestern and works in Washington, D.C.

“It makes sense to keep us here, not only economically, but turning us away — it’s morally wrong for so many reasons.”

Emmanuel Diaz, Georgia

Emmanuel came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was 2 years old. Emmanuel has two jobs and goes to college at Armstrong State University.

“We’re not here to make your life difficult, we’re actually here to make your lives better we’re here to do everything that we can to make our communities prosper.”

Carlos Lopez, Indiana

Carlos came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was 7 years old.

“We’re all trying to contribute to the United States. We aren’t part of the stereotype. We aren’t here to kill or steal, whatever; we are here to make a difference in the United States and hopefully show that through DACA we’re progressing.”

Harminder Saini, New York

Harminder came to the United States from India with his parents when he was 6 years old. He enlisted in the military.

“It’s my way of giving back to this country. They allowed me to stay here and gave me so much.”

Evelyn Valdez-Ward, Texas

Evelyn came to the United States from Mexico with her parents when he was 6 months old. She’s an ecology student at the University of California.

“There’s a huge amount of anxiety and uncertainty. If DACA expires, there’s no way I can finish my PhD. I would lose everything.”

Hector Rivera Suarez, North Carolina

Hector came to the United States from Mexico with his parents when he was 8 years old. He received two scholarships to cover his full tuition costs at Guilford College.

“I really hope that something happens, as soon as tomorrow. It would be really amazing.”

Edison Suasnavas, Utah

Edison came to the United States with his parents when he was 13 years old. Suasnavas has a master’s degree in molecular biology, and works for a company that tests for cancer in patients samples.

“After DACA it changed my life because I was able to apply to a job with benefits with insurance, and that allowed me to pay so much more taxes.”

Nellie Gonzalez, Virginia

Nellie came to the United States when she was 5 years old. Gonzalez is entering her final semester at John Tyler Community College before transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University.

“I just hope they do make the right decision. We’re still biting our nails. We’re depending on this.”

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