October 10, 2020

by Jaquelin Bautista

My mother always told me, ‘ponte las pilas’, as a way to encourage me to chase my dreams. She never doubted me because she knew that everything I needed in order to succeed was available to me; that it was a matter of whether or not I was willing to put in the work. Chasing my dreams was never easy, especially when I felt unwanted.

The discourse around undocumented immigrants was not always in the best light, and when I was young it was difficult to understand that, despite my accomplishments, my community was always going to be attacked. Yet, I found that, even with these challenges I would always have people that believed in me.

I am a DACA recipient that has had the fortune to experience the luxuries that this country has to offer. I am one of the 98,000 undocumented immigrants that graduated high school, one of  the 450,000 undocumented immigrants that enrolled in higher education, and one of the 382,000 that make up 0.25% of all US workers. My accomplishments are a direct result of the guidance and support I have received.

In high school, it was the network of counselors, teachers, and community leaders that guided me and advocated for me throughout my process to attend college. With their help, I received a full-tuition scholarship to The City College of New York. In college, it was a network of professors, counselors, mentors, and friends that gave me career advice that led me to land the only creative intern opportunity at d expósito & Partners amidst a global pandemic. The team at DEX has helped strengthen my skills and propel my career in advertising through the meaningful campaigns we’ve developed that build brands and serve our communities.  

Through these people, I learned to believe that I could achieve my dreams, and I now see that America wants to see its people succeed. This nation continues to evolve, allowing more and more people to prosper off the opportunities available. I am proof that this nation was built by dreamers, led by dreamers, and it will continue to be the home of dreamers. My community’s accomplishments are possible because this is the nation of prosperity and one that believes in its people’s pursuit of happiness.

Dreamers know no other home than this one. We have been raised to believe in ourselves just as much as others believe in us- just as much as this nation believes in us.  

Companies like, Walmart, Apple, Google, Best Buy, and Microsoft have shown their support for Dreamers because they have recognized our success as a community. FWD, a group of business and tech leaders committed to reforming immigration policy in the US, reports that Dreamers contribute $2 billion to Social Security, 96% of Dreamers are working or enrolled in school, 6% own businesses, 14% have purchased a home, and 60% have purchased a vehicle.

The support of these companies is critical to the livelihood of Dreamer’s. More companies should consider using their platforms to advocate for Dreamers, just as much as they show their support for communities of color, the LGBTQIA+, and the disabled community.

The impact that Dreamers have on America will continue to grow as our community continues to overcome barriers. Our accomplishments do not only advocate for us but demonstrate the power of this nation to make dreams come true.

I know that many before me have advocated for our community, and the fight is not over. I will continue to use my voice to shine a light on the resilience of the undocumented community. One day, I hope that Dreamers can live at ease in the land they call home.

 

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