Culture

Here’s What This Undocumented College Grad Has To Say About The Haters Threatening Her With ICE For Celebrating Her Graduation

One of the biggest gifts a child can give to a parent is the gift of hard work. It’s an even bigger accomplishment when the hard work comes through sacrifice and incredible odds. Camila Ozores Silva from Florida did just that recently when she walked across the stage to receive her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa. The DACA recipient worked long hours while working full time proving that her hard work and her parents’ sacrifices were worth it.

Camila Ozores Silva recently got her bachelor’s degree after overcoming tough obstacles.

Undocumented. Immigrant. Latina. Queer. Woman. Low income. First-gen. Anxiety. All these salient identities and labels used to be barriers that I thought for sure would keep me from reaching my goals. All of these were reasons society told me I would not be as successful as my peers. College graduate. This identity would not have been possible without the fuel of my marginalized identities. The multiple systemic and overt obstacles in my way only served as even more reasons why I needed to achieve my dreams. This diploma I’m about to receive is a privilege and an honor and it’s a testimony to the hard work of my parents and mentors, not just myself. This one is for my family and for the millions of other folks who hold my same identities that can’t quite yet strive for their dreams. Tomorrow will forever be the day that I reclaimed my narrative and proved myself wrong. Yo soy fuerte, yo soy capaz, yo soy invincible, yo soy mujer. ??‍?? #undocugrad #latinasinhighered #werk #immigrad #undocugrads #latinxgrads ?: @josejacobphotography

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The 21-year-old received a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and tweeted how she not only accomplished her dreams but was able to do that thanks to her father.

In a tweet that has now gone viral, Ozores Silva writes what it was like to be undocumented and still get college degree.

Ozores Silva found out she was undocumented as a teen and her life flipped upside down. She writes that despite facing an enormous amount of pressure because she was undocumented, her father encouraged her that they would endure the challenge together.

“I realized then that my education was no longer just mine,” Ozores Silva writes in her blog. “This was for my parents, immigrants to a country that tries and strips them of their culture and rejects them in so many ways. This was for my brother, a year behind me in school and someone I hoped to inspire to always strive for something more.”

In an interview with mitu, Ozores Silva discusses how she persevered through working 30 hours a week on top of a full class load.

brows done, life poppin

A post shared by Camila Ozores (@camilaronipizza) on

“I realized early on that this was never going to be easy with the systemic and institutional barriers placed against me and my community, Ozores Silva says. “Understanding that I needed to want this more than anything and be willing to fight for it helped me succeed.”

Ozores Silva encourages other Dreamers not to give up their fight for an education.

With so many Dreamers hanging in the balance of what the government will do to their DACA status, Ozores Silva shares words of wisdom:

“If you feel discouraged, let it come and feel it but don’t let it keep you down because education is a right that we all deserve and if you work hard enough, I believe you can achieve it,” Ozores Silva says. “Also, you might have to let go of the perfect dream. Sometimes financial setbacks are the ones most out of control, especially without the privilege of DACA and work authorization. However this doesn’t mean you need to quit, but this might mean you need to modify your dream by taking less classes at a time, going to community college, and/or graduating late. All of that is okay because it’s not about how long it takes you but it’s about you getting there.”

Ozores Silva also received some hateful comments regarding her undocumented status. To those people, she says “have empathy.”

“I’d like to tell those with hateful mindsets about my community to have empathy and hear out the real human beings affected by the terrible narratives being spewed about us,” Ozores Silva says. “I would also tell my fellow undocumented/DACA folks to have hope and to know that even if they’re not protesting in the streets or out of the shadows, their mere existence and taking up space is resistance.”

Now that Ozores Silva is done with college, she will soon be headed to Colorado State University where she will seek a masters in Student Affairs.

“I’m super excited to take my activism to a new state and continue learning as I believe education has saved my life.”


READ: Meet One Of The Students Who Walked Out During Mike Pence’s Notre Dame Commencement Speech

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This 14-Year-Old Girl Is Being Called A Hero After Defending Her Family From Robbers Using A Giant Machete

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This 14-Year-Old Girl Is Being Called A Hero After Defending Her Family From Robbers Using A Giant Machete

When it comes to familia, there is very little that we won’t do to make sure that one another is safe and healthy. Whether it be protecting our siblings from schoolyard bullies or helping our abuelos with trips to the mercado, we do what he have to do.

Those instincts are exactly what kicked in for one 14-year-old girl in Bogotá, Colombia when armed robbers attempted to rob her family’s store. She did what she had to do and now her story is making headlines around the world.

14-year-old Alejandra Peréz is being called a hero for her quick thinking.

Last week, a 14-year-old girl used a machete to fight off two men who were trying to rob her mother’s shop – as one of the attackers shot her mom in the chest. Now, she’s being hailed as a hero.

Surveillance video shows the moment the gun-wielding robbers entered the store located in Bogotá, Colombia and proceeded to lower the entrance gate. A second video camera positioned behind the store counter shows Alejandra Peréz sitting beside her mother Nidia Buenaventura, who was counting money from the cash register. 

Once the robbers approached, Peréz grabbed a machete and lunged at the man to attack him. A video camera facing the front part of the counter showed the suspect trying to grab the machete away from Peréz. He then used his gun to hit Buenaventura on the head. After a failed attempt to snatch the machete from Peréz, the man shot the mother in the chest.

The man and his accomplice then ran out of the shop and got on a scooter and took off.

Thankfully, Peréz’s mother is in stable condition.

The mother told Noticias Caracol that she only realized that she had been hit by the bullet when she was being treated at the hospital, where she went for the injuries she received.

According to her, undressing for the exam she realized that she was bleeding. Fortunately, the bullet entered and left her body without affecting her organs.

“My daughters were the first thing I thought, especially Alejandra when I saw that the guy attacked her,” she said. According to the brave teenage girl, her mother’s store had been targeted by burglars in the past.

‘It is not the first or the second time it happens, so I already had in mind that if something happened, take the machete and hit them,’ Peréz said, according to Caracol TV.

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Alejandro Mayorkas Is The First Latino And Immigrant To Be Named Secretary Of The Department Of Homeland Security

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Alejandro Mayorkas Is The First Latino And Immigrant To Be Named Secretary Of The Department Of Homeland Security

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and the first immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas is Cuban-born and was one of the original architects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and immigrant to be confirmed as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Secretary Mayorkas is inheriting a Trump-era DHS and is immediately getting to work to rectify issues that the Biden administration has highlighted. Two of the most pressing issues are heading up a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated by the previous administration and reviewing the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

“Remain in Mexico” is a policy that the Trump administration created and enforced that sent migrants to Mexico to await their asylum cases. The policy has been criticized both by U.S. and international politicians as a humanitarian issue.

It isn’t Mayorkas’ first time working for DHS.

Sec. Mayorkas was the deputy secretary of DHS from December 2013 – October 2016 under President Barack Obama. During that time, Mayorkas was crucial in responding to the 2013 – 14 Ebola virus epidemic and 2015 – 16 Zika virus epidemic. Mayorkas is ready to come back to the department and to bring back what he sees are the department’s mission.

“DHS bears an extraordinary weight on behalf of the American people, the weight of grave challenges seen and unseen,” Sec. Mayorkas said in a statement. “It is the greatest privilege of my life to return to the Department to lead the men and women who dedicate their talent and energy to the safety and security of our nation. I will work every day to ensure that they have the tools they need to execute their missions with honor and integrity. The mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values. The United States is a welcoming and empathetic nation, one that finds strength in its diversity. I pledge to defend and secure our country without sacrificing these American values.”

Mayorkas is no stranger to working on America’s immigration system.

Mayorkas is one of the original architects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which is at stake because of the previous administration. The Biden administration has made a promise to preserve DACA and to create a pathway to citizenship to the 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S.

President Biden has introduced legislation to reform the current immigration system. The legislation has a timeframe for all undocumented people in the U.S. to become citizens if they follow certains steps and meet certain criteria.

While Mayorkas got bipartisan support in the Senate confirmation, some Republicans did not like his work in immigration. Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow Cuban, voted to opposed Mayorkas.

“Not only has Mayorkas pledged to undo the sensible protections put in place by the Trump Administration that ended the dangerous policy of catch and release, but his nomination is further evidence that the Biden Administration intends to pursue a radical immigration agenda,” Sen. Rubio said in a statement.

READ: President Biden Introduces Legislation To Create Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million Undocumented People

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