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

A post shared by Camila Ozores (@camilaronipizza) on

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

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

Things That Matter

Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

Biden For President / Flickr

An overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers. Hundreds of thousands of young adults rely on the protection from deportation and work authorization to live with dignity and out of the shadows. Presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to make sure they stay protected.

Dreamers are looking to a Biden administration to finish what an Obama administration started.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

According to the official Biden campaign website, the presidential nominee will work with Congress to reinstate DACA protections and to create a pathway to citizenship. DACA was won by undocumented activists putting fear aside and publicly fought to change the minds of Americans and politicans.

“Undocumented ‘youth’ are no longer youth,” says Moises Serrano, DACA activist and the man profiled in the documentary “Forbidden.” “DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants have been living in fear and instability for decades now. We survived eight years under the Obama administration and four years under the Trump administration. Immigration reform was promised under the Obama-Biden platform; a promise that is still unfulfilled.”

He added: “We hope that President Biden puts an end to the instability in our lives once and for all, or we are ready to hold him accountable in the same way we held Obama accountable in our fight for Administrative Relief.”

Biden’s policy proposes protecting Dreamers and helping them advance in this country.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

Biden promises to reinstate DACA to protect Dreamers and will be looking into ways to protect their families. The policy put forth by a potential Biden administration is pivotal in giving those who are DACA recipients a chance to live without fear and with all of the rights as their fellow citizens.

“After living through a deep loss in 2016 after losing my second mother and only being granted access to be on her deathbed in Mexico through my ability to get advanced parole through DACA I learned that no loss would ever be greater than that,” said Cindy Nava, a DACA recipient, political operative and policy advocate. “However, November rolled around and another loss took place. One that impacted my life, that of my family and my community.”

DACA is a very important issue as hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are on the line.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

People like Nava are hopeful that a Biden administration will bring that dignity back to the immigrant community. It is a community that is vibrant and has contributed vastly to American culture. A BIden administration would be a chance for Nava to see herself reflected in government.

“I am hopeful to see the daughter of immigrants, a woman of color, and a woman I can finally feel represented by be sworn in as the first woman VP of this country,” Nava says. “I will look forward to an administration that listens to the communities it intends to represent. An administration that empowers the entire country to work with each other to support, strengthen, respect and uplift each other each and every day. An administration that values and is grateful for the contributions that immigrants bring to the foundation of our country each and every day.”

Nava wants to see an immigration reform that puts immigrant humanity at the forefront. One that understands the needs for people to seek refuge and a better life in a foreign country.

“No immigrant seeks to find a fix on a silver platter. Nor do they believe that this will be an easy task,” Nava says. “The only thing our families ask for is a chance. Una oportunidad para recordarle a este pais that their lucha and determination comes from a deep sense of ganas to create a life filled with more opportunities than they ever had.”

The battle over DACA is far from over but it is clear that the Trump administration is on the wrong side of public opinion. Biden’s plan would strengthen DACA and restore the program to its full functionality.

READ: Trump Administration Limit DACA Renewals, Blocks New Applications

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

Things That Matter

President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on behalf of the Trump administration. Since then hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have lived in uncertainty. President Donald Trump tried to rewrite history at his town hall event Oct. 15.

President Donald Trump blamed the end of DACA on Covid during his town hall.

The truth is that President Trump’s administration attempted to end DACA in 2017. Former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was the attorney general at the time and made the announcement in a press conference. Since then, the Trump administration has continued to advance a lawsuit to terminate the program. DACA allows for hundreds of thousands of adults to work and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Long before Covid, the Trump administration was told to resume DACA as intended.

Instead, the Trump administration has violated federal orders and continued to restrict DACA and those who can apply. The Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against DACA meaning that the lower court’s ruling stood. The ruling was that the Trump administration had to reinstate the program in full. However, the Supreme Court did not dismiss the case allowing for the administration to come back.

President Trump also claimed that DACA recipients and Dreamers are not that same.

Another falsehood by the president at the town hall. DACA recipients are indeed Dreamers. The term Dreamers does apply to DACA recipients who would benefit from the DREAM Act. The legislation would legally enshrine the protections of DACA and was introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in 2001. Over the course of 19 years, the piece of legislation has not moved despite the overwhelming support from the American public.

People watching the town hall were quick to call out President Trump.

People are not letting President Trump get away with trying to rewrite history about DACA. His administration is the one trying to strip DACA recipients of their protections. At one point, President Trump tried using DACA recipients as political pawns in an attempt to secure funding for his border wall.

Voters are calling on other voters to help protect the program in November.

The two nominees have very different DACA plans. President Trump has and will continue to try to take away the protections from DACA recipients. Former Vice President Joe Biden has a plan to offer citizenship to DACA recipients, something American voters support. DACA is a wildly popular program that gives some of the most vulnerable people in our society a chance to live a normal life.

READ: The Trump Administration Has Officially Rescinded DACA. Here’s What You Need To Know.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com