Oscar Vazquez, a formerly undocumented immigrant and US Army veteran, opened Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions’ second confirmation hearing today with powerful testimony about his contributions to the United States.
“My name is Oscar Vazquez,” he said, “and I am proud to be an American.”
Oscar Vazquez, a former DREAMER and Army veteran, spoke about immigration policy at today’s Jeff Sessions hearing. https://t.co/mQQDvcLDZe
— Senate Judiciary Dem (@JudiciaryDems) January 11, 2017
Oscar’s story, like that of his fellow Dreamers, is the quintessential American story. As a gifted high school student, his robotics team entered a national competition and beat out the likes of MIT, one of the foremost and respected institutions in the nation.
Since then, Oscar’s story has been shared by leaders like Sen. Dick Durbin, and he has continued to give back to his country by serving two tours in Afghanistan.
“Serving in the Army allowed me to contribute to this country more fully and make it safer,” Oscar, a father and husband to US citizens, said during his testimony. “I was following in the footsteps of countless other immigrants who have proudly served the United States.”
“In Afghanistan, I fought side by side with my fellow brothers. We wore the same uniform, wore the US flag on the same shoulder. It mattered more that we were willing to die for each other and for our country than from where we came from.”
Members of Congress, like Sen. Durbin, have called on the upcoming Trump Administration to not revoke the DACA program that protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants like Oscar.
“Dreamers like Oscar Vazquez have grown up in this country and have overcome great obstacles to succeed,” Sen. Durbin said about him in a 2009 floor speech. “They are our future leaders, they will serve in the military, they will be doctors, engineers, lawyers, and business leaders if they’re given a chance.”