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My Name Is Cindy. I’m Undocumented. I Can Make A Difference.

In this personal essay series, we hear from the people who would — and in some cases already have — benefit from DACA and DAPA. This is Cindy’s story.


Many of you have heard the term “DREAMers” — those who arrived to the U.S. as children without lawful status. My name is Cindy, and I’m a DREAMer.

I’ve had the opportunity to take part in community actions to support immigrants and students who, like me, encountered many tribulations due to their legal status. Through my civic engagement, I’ve found a passion for policy, politics and our legislative system. It was here in New Mexico that I began a lonely road to becoming the “political advocate” I wanted to be, to represent and inform our communities and students across the state.

This wasn’t always seen as a good thing. I’ve been judged, criticized, screamed at and offended many times because of others’ dissatisfaction with what I was doing.

I remember once standing at the state capitol, speaking to a woman I had viewed as an ally and mentor who became outraged that I was not doing what she asked. She called me a traitor, claiming I had no connection to my roots and that I didn’t understand the struggle of my communities. This woman is an educated U.S. citizen who holds a doctorate degree and lives a financially comfortable life, and she was accusing me of not knowing the struggle and of forgetting my roots. Rather than respond to attacks, I learned I was better off investing my time learning a system that has disenfranchised so many of our communities across the country for far too long.

It wasn’t until June 2015 that I went public with my legal status, when I became the first DREAMer to serve as an intern for the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Being one of the few DREAMers to be as visible and as politically active as I’ve become hasn’t been easy. I’ve felt intimidated and confused many times. However, my passion and commitment to support immigrant students and families has always been my driving force.

And while it may have not been easy, it has been truly empowering.


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Credit: Courtesy of Cindy Nava-Miramontes

There have been times when I’d look around and wonder how many other young people working at the legislature, the halls of Congress or the Democratic National Committee were working for free like I was. How many of them were undocumented? The answer answer was, unfortunately and far too frequently, “no one else.”

How many of them worried about how they would pay tuition? How many of them worried about having enough gas to drive to the Capitol? Who else worried about what to say or how to speak? I’ve wished there was a “help” button to answer those questions. But the truth is that the path I’m on has not been fully cleared for me to walk upon. It is up to me to clear the road less traveled for undocumented students interested in policy and politics.

I recall a day that a driver’s license bill was to be heard on the Senate floor, and I decided to stay to listen. Thanks to the New Mexico majority leader, I was able to sit on the Senate floor, right next to his chair, and join him eating popcorn and hot tamales as heavy attacks and accusations began to fly from right-wing members. I can still see the face of a legislator who claimed that all undocumented immigrants were here to steal jobs and to live off the government. He said that undocumented immigrants were thieves and did not deserve to be here.

One could imagine that after hearing all of those harsh and personally demoralizing comments I should have been crying, but instead I sat there analyzing the facts: I was there interning for free. My parents have never received government money. My parents held up to three jobs in order to raise my siblings and me. It was at this moment that I reaffirmed the need for me to be there, and the importance of understanding the systems in order to create durable and permanent change.

Whether you are working behind the scenes, serving as scholar activists, working the front lines of rallies and demonstrations, working within educational institutions to change systems or serving as advocates to change policies and laws through legislative action, it is important to have advocates at all levels to set a strong and ethical example for the leaders of tomorrow. We must support and serve as true and genuine visionary leaders who remember where we came from and where we are going.

In the faces of the women cleaning the floors of Congress, I will forever see my mother’s reflection, and in the hands of the many construction workers across our immigrant nation, I will forever see my father’s life.

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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Honduran Woman Gave Birth On Bridge Between U.S. And Mexico Border But What Will Happen To Them Next?

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Honduran Woman Gave Birth On Bridge Between U.S. And Mexico Border But What Will Happen To Them Next?

Julio César Aguilar / Getty Images

As the number of parents and children crossing the border continues to increase, driven by violence and poverty in Central America, many are growing desperate while being forced to wait in migrant camps in Mexico. While crossings have not reached the levels seen in previous years, facilities that hold migrants are approaching capacity, which has been reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is forcing many to check the status of their claims by crossing into the U.S. to speak to border agents. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more and more women are being forced to give birth in less than ideal situations – putting at risk both the lives of the mother and child.

A migrant woman gave birth on a bridge between U.S.-Mexico border.

According to Mexican border authorities, a Honduran woman gave birth on the Mexican side of the border bridge between Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas. The woman was apparently trying to reach the U.S. side, but felt unsteady when she got there and was helped by pedestrians on the Mexican side waiting to cross.

Mexico’s National Immigration Institute said the birth occurred Saturday afternoon on the Ignacio Zaragoza border bridge, also known as “Los Tomates.” It said authorities received an alert from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials regarding “a woman trying to enter the country improperly.”

It said the woman was taken to a hospital in Matamoros, where she was given free care. Her child will have the right to Mexican citizenship.

Hernández is hardly the first woman to give birth while hoping to cross into the U.S.

Just last month, a woman gave birth along the U.S. side of the Rio Grande. She had just crossed the river and her smugglers were yelling at her to keep moving as U.S. Border Patrol agents arrived. But she couldn’t continue, fell to the ground, and began to give birth.

The mother and her her daughter are safe and in good health. “They treated me well, thank God,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name used because she fears retribution if she’s forced to leave the country, in an interview with ABC News.

“There’s so many women in great danger,” Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, told ABC News. “They must really think before they do what they do and risk the life of their unborn child.”

Like so many other women, Hernández was waiting in Mexico under Trump’s cruel immigration policies.

Hernández was reportedly among about 800 migrants sheltering in an improvised riverside camp while awaiting U.S. hearings on their claims for asylum or visas. Other migrants are waiting in Matamoros, but have rented rooms.

Thousands of other migrants are waiting in other Mexican border cities for a chance to enter the U.S. — some for years. The Trump administration has turned away tens of thousands at legal border crossings, first citing a shortage of space and then telling people to wait for court dates under its “Remain in Mexico” policy.

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