WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, FWD.us launched a new ad as part of its seven-figure national campaign to encourage Congress to finally pass legislation, such as the Dream Act, to provide an earned pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. The new ad, “Home,” features Dylan Ruiz, a Dreamer who came to the U.S. when he was just a year old, grew up in Oklahoma City, and is pursuing an engineering degree, but who lives in fear and uncertainty of his future in the country he calls home. Dylan is among more than 10,100 young Oklahomans who came to the United States as children but have no way of earning permanent legal status. Without urgent congressional action, Dreamers like Dylan could be deported to countries many have no memory of.
In the ad, Dylan speaks to the urgent need for Congress to pass long-overdue legislation, such as the Dream Act, that would provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers like him. In addition to Dylan, the ad features key mentors in Dylan’s life, including his high school principal, counselor, and AP teacher, who speak to Dylan’s positive personality, leadership, and goals for the future. As Dylan’s principal says in the video, “Dylan is not just a model student, but I would say a model human being,” and that, “Dreamers like Dylan want to contribute to society just like every American. It’s really time to address this issue.”
The ad will appear on cable, broadcast and digital platforms. This launch comes on the heels of the ninth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has temporarily protected hundreds of thousands of Dreamers from deportation since 2012. DACA is making its way through the courts and advocates expect a ruling any day now that would terminate DACA and clear the way for the deportation of these young people.
“I grew up just like any average American. I played sports, was in AP classes and the band, and am now pursuing an engineering degree. However, I also lived and continue to live with the shadow of being undocumented hanging over my head, threatening my dreams and contributions. I was days away from first applying for DACA when the Trump Administration terminated the program in 2017. While I am in the process of doing so now, my undocumented status and the looming uncertainty around DACA weighs heavy,” said Dylan Ruiz. “I want to continue working toward my degree, more fully contribute to our communities and economy upon graduation, and further build my life in the U.S., but without a pathway to citizenship, my hopes and goals are in jeopardy. Congress, please act to pass legislation that would provide Dreamers like me with an earned pathway to citizenship through legislation like the Dream Act. We can’t wait.”