Pratima Satish (Bay Area, CA)
Data Science Consultant at Gyant
Pratima is an international graduate from Mumbai, India and recently completed her PhD at UC Berkeley in chemistry after coming to the U.S. for her undergraduate degree at Cornell University. Thanks to her OPT status, she now works as a data science consultant at Gyant in the Bay Area.
Rodrigo Xavier Heredia (New York, NY) – AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA IN ENGLISH & SPANISH
Xavi moved to the U.S. in 2009, first as a foreign exchange student, and later continued education at the University of Florida as an international student. His primary motivation was to move to the United States because he has an older sister who has lived in the U.S. since 1994. His sisters’ journey in the U.S. gave Xavi the ambition to learn English back in Ecuador’s home country since he was a kid. He learned English by watching subtitled movies, listening to rock music, playing video games, and reading books. Xavier lived in Florida for about eight years and currently lives in New York City. He has had three different visa types (Tourism, Exchange Student, International Student) and was also a beneficiary of the OPT and CPT program. He received a conditional permanent residency via family and is now awaiting his green card renewal. Due to current delays in processing, his case has been active for more than 18 months.
Wojciech Osowiecki (Bay Area, CA)
Wojciech is originally from Warsaw, Poland and moved to the U.S. to study at Yale University with a Joint B.S/M.S in Chemistry. In 2019, he graduated with a PhD in Physical Chemistry and a specialty in nanotechnology and clean catalysis from UC Berkeley. There, he was the 2018 Siebel Scholar in Energy Science. He currently works in the semiconductor industry for a Fortune 500 company on an H-1B visa. Wojciech hopes to learn more about how to make computing more sustainable.
Hector Gutierrez (Forest Park, GA)
Educator, City Councilman
Councilman Hector Gutierrez represents Ward 3 on the Forrest Park City Council and is an educator in the Atlanta Public Schools system. Born in Uruguay, Councilman Gutierrez is a veteran of the Georgia National Guard, where he served between 2006 and 2012, he deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom before being injured.
Esmeralda Tovar (Hutchinson, KS)
Mother & Nursing Assistant
Esmeralda came to Kansas from Mexico when she was eighteen months old and has lived in the United States her entire life. She is working on two bachelor degrees. One in nursing and the other in general studies concentrated on criminal justice, sociology, and women’s/ethnic and religion studies. She is currently working as a case manager for a mental health center and a medication aide at a nursing home. Her husband, Michael, is in the military and served a deployment overseas in 2018. Esmeralda and her husband are parents to a three-year-old U.S. citizen daughter.
Taylor Levy (El Paso, TX) – AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA IN ENGLISH & SPANISH
After a decade working with various nonprofits, Taylor founded her own legal consulting firm dedicated to protecting the rights of asylum-seekers arriving at our southern border. Taylor currently provides pro bono legal assistance to asylum-seeking families who have been returned to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico under the “Remain in Mexico” program. Taylor also provides education and advocacy around issues affecting asylum-seekers on the border, including mentoring other attorneys, presenting at conferences, speaking to the press, and hosting professional delegations visiting the area. Additionally, in 2018, Taylor coordinated a pro bono legal project that successfully helped to reunite hundreds of parents separated from their minor children during the “zero tolerance” period of family separation. Her work has been profiled on NPR, MSNBC, CBS, The Washington Post, and ProPublica, among others.
Person seeking asylum with an alias (Nogales, México) – AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA IN SPANISH
A father, his wife and five children ages 5 to 17, are a Honduran asylum-seeking family that traveled thousands of miles leaving their home fleeing threats from a local gang. The family is among the hundreds of asylum-seekers who’ve been returned to Mexico through local ports of entry since the U.S. government began enforcing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Nogales.
Person seeking asylum with an alias (Ciudad Juárez, México) – AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA IN SPANISH
A father and his 14-year old daughter have traveled thousands of miles fleeing threats from a local gang. After waiting in Juarez under MPP for several months, they made the impossible and heartbreaking decision to split up and send his daughter across the border in late August due to the lack of safety in Juarez. To this day, they remain separated and his daughter is in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) pending the possibility of future reunification with family members.
Andrew Moriarty (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
Deputy Director of Federal Policy, FWD.us
Andrew Moriarty is Deputy Director of Federal Policy at FWD.us, where he analyzes the impact of immigration policies and helps develop FWD.us priorities for immigration reform. Andrew previously served as the San Francisco Director, working to mobilize support for immigration reform in the Bay Area. Before moving into advocacy, Andrew taught high school English in Memphis, TN.
Maria Praeli (Washington, D.C.)
Government Relations Manager, FWD.us
Maria Praeli moved to the United States from Peru in 1999 when she was five years old to seek medical treatment for her sister, whose leg was amputated in a car accident. Today, Maria is the government relations manager 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 related to Dreamers and TPS holders. 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 voter engagement in Nevada. After moving from Peru, Maria attended public schools in Connecticut before earning an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Gateway Community College, and then a bachelor’s degree in political science from Quinnipiac University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Samuel Cervantes (Arlington, VA, and Houston, TX)
Research Associate, FWD.us
Samuel Cervantes is an immigration policy researcher and advocate. 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 worked in campaigns to protect in-state tuition for undocumented students and 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. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a communications degree, Samuel now works as a Research Associate at FWD.us in Washington D.C.