Georgia DACA Recipients, TPS holder in Washington, D.C. Today to Advocate for Permanent Protections for Vital Communities

Georgians Joined More than 75 Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED Recipients for the #ProtectTheDream Fly-In

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, three Dreamers and one TPS holder from Georgia traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate directly to their Members of Congress for passage of bipartisan legislation that will provide permanent protections to individuals living in the United States. Without urgent action from Congress, more than 1 million individuals — including 22,000 Georgian Dreamers — could be separated from their families, ripped out of the workforce, and deported, beginning in just a matter of weeks.

The Georgia Dreamers joined a diverse group of nearly 80 individuals from 12 different states, including DACA recipients who are pursuing higher education, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders who have rebuilt their lives in the United States after fleeing natural disasters in their home countries, and hardworking Liberian American Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients who have contributed to their U.S. communities for decades.

Every individual in the group has a unique story, but all have had their lives thrown into chaos due to the Trump Administration’s actions to terminate programs — like DACA, TPS, and DED — that currently protect more than 1 million individuals. Each participant is at risk of being deported, separated from their loved ones, and forced out of their communities to return to countries they may not have seen in decades. Only permanent legislative protections from Congress will allow them the certainty to continue living and working in the U.S., and building their lives here.

The following Georgia Dreamers and TPS holder participated in the Washington, D.C. fly-in and are willing to participate in media interviews.

Yerisson Cardenas, DACA Recipient (Oakwood, GA)

  • Yerisson Cardenas is a teacher at West Hall Middle School in Gainesville, GA and has been a DACA recipient since college. Yerisson Cardenas came to the United States from Mexico as a child. Due to immense support from his teachers and community, Yerisson was able to obtain a full-tuition scholarship and attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. He graduated in May of 2015 with Magna Cum Laude honors. After graduating, he became a 2015 Metro Atlanta Corps Member through Teach for America. Yerisson taught science for two years at Unidos Dual Language School and eventually moved back home to Georgia and currently teaches at the same school he attended as a teenager: West Hall Middle School.

Roxana Chicas, TPS Holder (Lawrenceville, GA)

  • Roxana Chicas, BSN, RN, is a Ph.D. candidate and clinical instructor at Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. An immigrant from El Salvador, Chicas was a member of the inaugural class of the Bridges to the Baccalaureate Scholar program at Emory, which supports nurses from underrepresented groups to attain nursing bachelor’s degrees. In partnership with the Farmworker Association of Florida, Chicas designed a pilot study to examine cooling interventions to keep agricultural workers safe while working in hot and humid environments. Chicas is a co-founder and the vice-president of the Georgia Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. Chicas has been recognized for demonstrating excellence in scholarship by Sigma Theta Tau and graduated with cum laude distinction from Emory University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Cinthya Moran Leal, DACA Recipient (Conyers, GA)

  • Cinthya Moran Leal is a 19-year-old DACA recipient and aspiring cardiovascular surgeon, currently working as a CNA/EKG Tech with a non-profit clinic called Helping Hands Outreach. Helping Hands provides low-cost healthcare to uninsured and underinsured populations. Cinthya is an active member of 5 different honor societies and has been very involved in her community as an activist and organizer.

Samantha Ramirez Herrera, DACA Recipient (Atlanta, GA)

  • Samantha Ramirez-Herrera is the CEO & Founder of, a creative content agency and digital magazine. As a filmmaker, creative director, and writer, she is an expert in multicultural communication for Latin and Hispanic audiences. Samantha recently launched a Hispanic-inspired version of Offtharecord, Mas OTR, celebrating Hispanic creativity and communities, highlighting relevant social issues and related content, and told stories for some of the nation’s biggest organizations including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Afropunk, and NBC.


  • DACA recipients are integral to the fabric of communities across Georgia. Protecting Dreamers and ensuring that they and their family members can thrive is good for Georgia families and good for Georgia’s economy.
  • In Georgia, DACA has allowed more than 22,000 young people to come forward, pass a background check, and live and work legally in the U.S.
  • Georgia Dreamers are entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses, and engineers, and they live in, work in, and contribute to nearly every community across the state.
  • DACA recipients in Georgia earn an estimated $583 million in wages per year.
  • Ending DACA, and failing to provide permanent protections for Dreamers, would cost Georgia nearly $1 billion in lost GDP annually.

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