WASHINGTON, DC — FWD.us President Todd Schulte released the following statement today, which marks two years since the Trump Administration announced its intent to end the DACA program and put hundreds of thousands of young people at risk of losing their work authorization and being deported from the only country most know as home:
“The unlawful attempt to repeal of DACA has been one of the most devastating actions of the Trump Administration. Hundreds of thousands of Dreamers’ lives have been thrown into chaos, not to mention the incredible harm to their families, friends and employers. If not for the bravery of young immigrants who have been willing to share their stories, and a substantial number of successful legal challenges, nearly 800,000 Dreamers who are American in every way would have been deported from this country.
“This legal battle is now headed to the Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments in just two months. The stakes for this case are real. Justices will determine if DACA recipients in every part of the country who are working in every sector of the American economy can continue contributing to the United States. They will decide whether the Trump Administration can rip apart hundreds of thousands of families across the country. They will hold the fate of every DACA recipient in their hands.
“Right now, DACA recipients are still able to apply for a renewal of their two-year deferral, and we encourage everyone who is eligible to do so without delay. We also continue to urge members of Congress to do their jobs and pass a permanent legislative solution that would provide DACA recipients, and the broader Dreamer community, the stability to continue living, working, and building their lives here in the only country most have ever known.”
Learn more about DACA renewals here.
Available for Comment
The following individuals are available for comment on the second anniversary of the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA:
Samuel Cervantes (Washington, DC)
Research Associate, FWD.us
Samuel Cervantes is an immigration policy researcher and an advocate pursuing a degree in Communication Studies, with a certificate in Human Rights and Social Justice, at the University of Texas at Austin. Born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico and raised in Houston, Texas, he is the oldest child in a family of four and the first of his family to attend college. Shaped by his background growing up as the gay son of an undocumented Mexican-American family, Samuel began his career as a political activist at the state level, where he coordinated a campaign to protect in-state tuition for undocumented students and organized against anti-immigrant legislation in Texas with the University Leadership Initiative. Samuel interned at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Texas State Legislature, in addition to completing the Bill Archer Fellowship in Washington, DC, and the Public Policy International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. Samuel now works as a Research Associate at FWD.us in Washington D.C. and aspires to pursue a JD/MPP to forward the welfare of his community.
Leezia Dhalla (Washington, DC)
Press Director, FWD.us
Leezia Dhalla immigrated to Texas from Canada in 1996, when she was six years old. Her family entered the United States on a visa and tried multiple times to secure permanent residency, but their application stalled after an attorney filed their paperwork late, and again after an employer sponsoring them sold his business, requiring the family to restart the entire application process. A Northwestern University journalism graduate, Leezia graduated from Ronald Reagan High School in Texas with summa cum laude honors and has given several TED talks on her experiences as an undocumented immigrant.
Juan Escalante (Washington, DC)
Digital Campaigns Manager; Immigration, FWD.us
Juan is the Digital Campaigns Manager at FWD.us. With much foresight to the oncoming political violence, Juan’s parents fled Venezuela for the United States in 2000, with Juan and his two brothers in tow. In 2006, an immigration attorney mishandled the Escalantes’ case, and they lost their legal status. By the time President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, Juan had graduated from Florida State University with a political science degree and helped spearhead some of the digital tactics that are currently used by the Dreamer movement. Juan is the recipient of the 30 under 30 Alumnus of Florida State University Award and remains a nationally renowned immigration advocate. Thanks to DACA, Juan was able to return to FSU for a masters in public administration and continue his immigration work as a digital advocate. His work has been published by a variety of outlets, including USA Today, The New York Times, and Univision.
Marissa Molina (Denver, CO)
Colorado State Immigration Manager, FWD.us
Marissa is the Colorado state immigration manager with 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. A native of Mexico, Marissa Molina grew up in the Western Slope of Colorado in Glenwood Springs. She attended Fort Lewis College, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Economics. As a 2014 Teach for America Corps Member, Marissa spent two years teaching Spanish for Native Speakers at DSST: GVR High School. In July of 2015, Marissa was one of nine educators with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to be honored by the White House as a Champion of Change. She was recently appointed to the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Board of Trustees, becoming the first Dreamer to serve on a state board.
Maria Praeli (Washington, DC)
Government Relations Manager, FWD.us
Maria Praeli moved to the United States in 1999 when she was five years old to seek medical treatment for her sister, whose leg was amputated in a car accident. Born in Peru, Maria attended public schools in Connecticut before earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Quinnipiac University and an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut. Today, Maria is an immigration policy associate at FWD.us. Her work focuses on strengthening outreach efforts to elected officials, providing education and resources on immigration policy to congressional offices, and working on special projects for various campaigns, including Immigrant Heritage Month. Prior to joining FWD.us, Maria was the deputy director for canvass at Mi Familia Vota, where she worked on initiatives to build broad community partnerships and drive stronger vote engagement in Nevada.
Jaime Rangel (Dalton, GA)
Immigration Associate, FWD.us
Jaime moved from Mexico to the United States when he was a child. He currently lives in Dalton, Georgia where he is the Immigration Associate at FWD.us His family and community work in the carpet mills and factories that make Dalton, GA, the “carpet capital of the world.” He played varsity baseball in high school where many of his teammates were given amazing opportunities that weren’t available to him because of his citizenship status. He studied Finance and Financial Planning at Dalton State College, where he paid out-of-state tuition even though he’d grown up in Dalton because Georgia laws require non-citizens to do so. Jaime’s status motivated him to become civically engaged and involved in politics. He is also a graduate of the GALEO (GA Association of Latino Elected Officials) Institute for Leadership program which springboarded his political involvement. He has worked closely with the Mayor, city council members, and state legislature representatives in Dalton and acts as a Hispanic liaison between their offices and the Hispanic community.
Statements from FWD.us state immigration managers on the second anniversary of the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA are available here:
Sam Aguilar, Georgia State Director, FWD.us
Zaira Garcia, Texas State Director, FWD.us
Ted Hutchinson, Florida State Director, FWD.us
Marissa Molina, Colorado State Immigration Manager, FWD.us
Eddie A. Taveras, New York State Immigration Manager, FWD.us