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Last Thursday, Texas State Representative Ramon Romero, a Democrat from the Fort Worth area, sat down to talk about Dreamers and DACA in one of our latest Dreamer Dinners.
Over enchiladas, Representative Romero and the Dreamers he sat down with spoke about the stories of Dreamers, the rumors of DACA’s impending end, and how to communicate the experience of Dreamers to everyday citizens.
“Dreamers are an investment for the United States,” said Carlos Avalos, one of the Dreamers in attendance. “Some people believe that Dreamers shouldn’t be able to go to US schools, but we’re studying and working so that we can contribute more, and more fully.”
Carlos came to the US with his family when he was ten because his father had no job opportunities in Mexico; even when his father could find work, those who hired him sometimes couldn’t afford to pay him. Carlos’ mother would sometimes send him to play at his cousins’ house because he could eat there when his family had no food. After the Avalos family came to the United States, they were unable to return to Mexico (for fear of not being able to come back), even when his maternal grandfather passed away. Today, Carlos is a senior studying advertising and creative writing at the University of Texas-Arlington, and is scheduled to graduate in December 2017. He has also interned with Rep. Romero.
As Carlos said about the Dreamer Dinner:
I’m really, really happy we were able to do this. Representatives aren’t always aware of us Dreamers, our stories, our situations, why we want to go to work or school, or why we came here. They get their information from fearmongers, unless they have the opportunity to meet with us themselves.
Rep. Romero also commended the experience. As he said of the Dreamers and the dinner:
I was moved by the enthusiasm of their nature and excited about their optimism for the future. Despite the obstacles, it’s clear that this group of young people are not deterred in their belief that that they have a lot to give to this nation, and that this nation is their home. Certainly, the reality of potential separation from family exists, but their determination to prove that they and their families mean more to America present than gone, is a mission they gladly are taking responsibility for.
Personally I am very humble, it was a thoughtful evening for me. I was taken back to the difficulties of life as a low-income immigrant child. That dinner filled my tank, and it’s opportunities like these that remind me why I ran for office.
Thank you Carlos, Paola, and Alan for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful, memorable evening.
Dreamers and advocates are holding their breath this week in the wake of news that DACA may be rescinded in the next few days. DACA is a program which has helped almost 800,000 young immigrants over five years by allowing them to work in the country legally and live without fear of deportation. Without DACA, Dreamers all over the country will lose the massive ground they have gained since the program was put in place, and face deportation from the only home they’ve ever known. Our Dreamer Dinner series are intended to help spread the word about DACA, explain why it’s crucial, and build up support for Dreamers. Help us by hosting your own Dreamer Dinner today.
View photos of the dinner last week, below:
— Mario A. Carrillo (@_mariocarrillo_) August 24, 2017