Not that it wasn’t an important step — and for me, it was personal. In 2010, along with three friends, I walked from Miami to Washington, D.C., to ask President Barack Obama to stop deporting “dreamers”: people who, like me, had been brought to this country as children and were not able to become citizens, or even legal residents. I helped create the immigrant youth organization United We Dream. I became the group’s lead negotiator and political director, and when Obama established DACA in June 2012, we counted it as a huge victory. I was thrilled to see the long lines — they seemed to stretch for miles — in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami — lines of people waiting to get legal help with filling out the forms that would change their lives.
TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college access and success program for immigrant youth, having provided more than 5,000 college scholarships to DREAMers at more than 70 partner colleges in 16 states and Washington, DC. We believe that all young Americans, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to get a college education and pursue a meaningful career that contributes to our country’s prosperity.