ALBANY, NY – FWD.us New York State Immigration Manager Eddie A. Taveras released the following statement today, which marks two years since the Trump Administration announced their intent to end the DACA program and put 700,000 young people – including more than 32,000 New Yorkers – at risk of losing their work authorization and being deported:
“The Trump Administration’s repeated, unlawful attempts to end the incredibly successful DACA program are outrageous. DACA has allowed nearly 700,000 hardworking young individuals to build their lives here, contributing even more fully to our communities and our economy in the only country most have ever known as home. Thanks to DACA, hundreds of thousands of young people have accessed higher education, pursued entrepreneurship and started businesses, and purchased homes or grown their families. DACA has been a transformative and overwhelmingly successful program for these young people’s lives and their futures in every way.
“Multiple courts have kept DACA renewals accessible to current recipients, but they have been forced to live court case to court case in uncertainty and fear for two years now. We encourage eligible DACA recipients to renew without delay, and we urge members of Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution that would provide DACA recipients the stability and certainty to continue building their lives in their communities here.”
Available for Comment
The following individuals are available for comment on the second anniversary of the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA:
Eddie A. Taveras (New York, NY)
New York State Immigration Manager, FWD.us
Eddie is the New York State Immigration Manager at FWD.us, a bipartisan political organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when more individuals are able to achieve their full potential. He has extensive experience working on campaigns including Jenny Wilson for U.S. Senate and Hillary for America, where he concentrated on political outreach, communications, and finance. Eddie is an active participant in many social and civil movements where he partnered with organizations such as Planned Parenthood Action Fund and New York Public Interest Research Group. Eddie continues to champion for comprehensive immigration reform using his abilities as a researcher and communications professional.
Andreas Munguia Rivera (Rochester, NY)
Student, University of Rochester
Andreas is a 22-year-old who came to the United States from Mexico when he was 9. Currently, he is attending the University of Rochester in New York. Although it was challenging to leave his mother and sister back in Arizona, he hopes that the opportunity to attend school helps his future career. He is pursuing a degree in political science with a mir in international relations with the intention to someday work for the United Nations. Growing up in the United States gave Andreas the mindset that hard work and perseverance can help one obtain their American Dream; however, for him, that means working twice as hard because of his status. Despite the challenges, he viewed his experience as an opportunity to show this country what he is capable of. Andreas considers himself to be a social justice advocate. Prior to transferring to the University of Rochester, he interned for Congressman Raul Grijalva. He was able to help constituents in the 3rd Congressional District of the state of Arizona
Angel Rivas (Glen Cove, NY)
Angel Rivas came to the U.S. from Peru when he was 15 years old. When he was 18, Angel’s mother was deported back to Peru and he was separated from her. In 2013, a year after the DACA program was announced, Angel received his DACA while attending college. While in college, Angel decided to open a small business doing electronic repairs first in Queens, and then in New York City. He currently lives in Glen Cove, NY and coordinates the Long Island effort for Rural and Migrant Ministry. He is engaged and has a 6-month-old daughter with his fiancée.
Aura Lopez Zarate (Newburgh, NY)
Raiz Latinx Fellow Grassroots Organizer
Aura Lopez Zarate is a twenty-three-year-old DACA recipient who attends the City University of New York Queens College majoring in Political Science. She began her junior year in the fall of 2019 and expects to graduate in 2021. Before attending Queens College, Aura attended Borough of Manhattan Community College and was involved with the college’s rowing club. In fact, in her last two semesters there, she was voted in as president of the club by her teammates for showing dedication, encouragement and leadership qualities. Outside of her education, Aura works for Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley as a Raiz Fellow Latinx Grassroots Organizer where she organizes the Latinx community around the fight for reproductive health rights and other social justice issues that directly affect her community in Newburgh, New York. Aura’s community-based work has been recognized by her congress representative, Orange County of New York and other organizations. After she receives her Political Science degree, she plans on attending law school to become an international human rights lawyer. Her aspirations are to one day work for the United Nations and eventually become a judge.
Rey Jeronimo Mendez (Staten Island, NY)
Student, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Rey Jeronimo Mendez is a student at Borough of Manhattan Community College currently finishing his Associates of Science in Human Services. Rey was born in Valle de Chalco, Mexico. He was brought to the U.S at the age of 2 years old and raised in Staten Island, NY. Rey is one of 700,000 DACA recipients and currently on his 4th renewal. He has served as a Direct Support Specialist for a non-profit organization, where he worked one-on-one with youth placed in the foster care homes. It was there that he developed a passion for working with kids. He now has a clear end-goal to obtain a bachelor’s in social work at Hunter College. During his senior year in high school, he became very active and very outspoken within his community. He served as an adult mentor in an immigrant youth leadership program at El Centro del Inmigrante in Staten Island. He has worked on a national grassroots advocacy efforts in D.C, spoken at town hall meetings, with elected officials and with immigrant leaders and elected officials in his borough, city and on Capitol Hill.