Coloradans Joined More than 75 DACA Recipients, TPS Holders, and DED Recipients for the #ProtectTheDream Fly-In
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, six Dreamers from Colorado 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 nearly 15,000 Colorado Dreamers — could be separated from their families, ripped out of the workforce, and deported, beginning in just a matter of weeks.
The Colorado 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.
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The following Colorado Dreamers participated in the Washington, D.C. fly-in and are willing to participate in media interviews.
Kennya Sanchez, DACA Recipient (Denver, CO)
- Kennya Sanchez grew up in Avon, Colorado before moving to Denver in 2003. She attended Bruce Randolph High School in Denver Public Schools, where she graduated as valedictorian in 2013. After graduation, she attended the Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she graduated with a degree in Psychology and Biology. Kennya started working at McGlone Academy as a special education paraprofessional, before joining Teach for America in 2017. As a Teach for America Corps Member, she currently teaches Kindergarten to Spanish Native Speakers.
Fryda Faugier, DACA Recipient (Englewood, CO)
- Fryda Fraugier currently serves as one of DSF’s Campus Advisors at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Fryda received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies, Socio-Legal Studies, and Spanish from the University of Denver in 2018 and is the first in her family to graduate from college. Fryda has devoted her career to serving marginalized students transition to and from higher education.
Axel Garcia, DACA Recipient (Steamboat Springs, CO)
- Axel Garcia is a student at Colorado Mountain College, Steamboat, an opportunity available to him thanks to DACA. Axel came to America from Mexico as an infant and has been protected by DACA since then. Axel would like to see the protection enhanced and extended for DACA students to relieve the pressures of uncertainty that often cloud their futures.
Javier Pineda Jr., DACA Recipient (Denver, CO)
- Javier works as a paralegal at The Law Firm of Eric Fisher in Colorado. Javier grew up in the small mountain-town community in Breckenridge, CO and graduated from Summit High School as the Student Body President, and other honorable recognitions including, Eagle Scout and Summit Foundation Youth of the Year Philanthropy Award recipient. After graduating high school, Javier attended the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs to pursue a degree in Political Science with the hopes of attending law school.
Armando Reyes Zapata, DACA Recipient (Steamboat Springs, CO)
- After graduating high school in 2016, Armando Reyes decided to attend Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He is studying to major in Restaurant and Culinary Management and hopes to one day be the head chef of a restaurant that he owns. He came to America from Mexico at the age of four, when his family moved to Colorado. His dream of attending school was only made possible by the passage of DACA and immense support from his family and community.
Gabriela Rodriguez, DACA Recipient (Lakewood, CO)
- Gabriela was raised in Denver, Colorado. Before Gabriela graduated with her degree in Convergent Journalism, she spent a year answering phone calls and submitting congressional inquiries about immigration and veteran affairs for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s office. She finished her internship through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institution in Washington D.C. while she wrote her undergraduate honors thesis about narratives in counterterrorism. Now, Gabriela is the External Affairs Coordinator for KIPP Colorado Schools. She works in Southwest Denver teaching advocacy and leadership skills to parents and students.
FAST FACTS ON COLORADO DREAMERS:
- DACA recipients are integral to the fabric of communities across Colorado. Protecting Dreamers and ensuring that they and their family members can thrive is good for Colorado families and good for Colorado’s economy.
- In Colorado, DACA has allowed nearly 15,000 young people to come forward, pass a background check, and live and work legally in the U.S.
- Ending DACA, and failing to provide permanent protections for Dreamers, would cost Colorado more than $856 million in annual GDP losses.
- DACA-eligible Dreamers in Colorado have an annual spending power of $322 million.
Colorado’s Dreamers pay more than $31 million in state and local taxes annually.