Los Angeles, CA – Recently, Univision featured the story of Sayda Ayala, a Dreamer from Honduras. Sayda crossed the border alone at the age of 13 with nothing more than the clothes she was wearing. This year, she generated an income of $4.8 million from the two transportation companies she owns in southern California.
During her interview with journalist Isaias Alvarado, this “dream maker” speaks about her struggles and vision. Ayala did not have the money to apply for DACA when it first came out, but her determination to work hard and become a self-sufficient person kept her focused.
“I am not taking anything away from anyone. I am not stealing anything. I am not taking away any jobs or asking the government for anything.” she said.
From nothing to a self-made businesswoman, Ayala’s story comes to light at a very sensitive moment for the country, and particularly immigration:
- The contributions from immigrants to the nation have been intentionally overlooked by Republican candidates looking to further their own political career, even though many studies demonstrate that immigration bolsters the workforce and strengthens the nation’s economy.
- Dreamers have lived for more than a year in fear of losing their protection, which is being threatened by the current administration. However, not even Federal Judge Andrew Hanen — noted anti-immigrant judge who blocked President Obama’s 2014 immigration action – was able to prove that allowing the program to continue would causing irreparable harm.
Ayala’s lawyer, Eric Price, who worked for 5 years as an ICE prosecutor and has seen these stories many times from both sides, says that one common factor Dreamers and immigrants in general share is their determination to work hard.
According to Price:
The narrative that immigrants are criminals and using public resources is the opposite of what I see every day as a truth. These individuals are not public charges and stealing money from the government or public welfare, but so they are actually working really hard to support their families so they don’t go on public assistance.
The anti-immigrant sentiment of the current administration has made immigrants live in fear; but it has also heated up the conversation about the upcoming midterm elections. During her interview, Ayala stressed the importance of the power of the vote to protect DACA and the immigrant community alike:
We have people in power, who do not want us. And they are the ones with the capacity of making decisions that can either harm or protect us. But that is something that we can change with the vote. That’s why I’m calling on my Latino community, to make their voices heard, to go out and vote by choosing candidates that really support the immigrant community. Meanwhile, I continue doing my part as an immigrant: working hard, paying taxes every 3 months, generating my own work and offering job opportunities to my community, because nobody is coming to bring us jobs.
Isaias Alvarado’s entire piece is available online here.