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Her Mom Cleaned Houses To Pay For Her Education After Her School Learned She Was Undocumented And Took Her Scholarship

When administrative officials at Camila Ozores Silva’s university found out she was undocumented, they took away her scholarship and made her pay back her tuition fees. The news meant that the student from Argentina had to find a new way to support herself through college all on her own.

Left uncertain as to how she would pay for her college education, the student who had aspired to pursue graduate school after college went to her dad and told him about her new plan: she would leave school for a semester and work to save money. But instead of receiving a supportive shrug from her father and an assuring pat on the back for her decision, Ozores’s dad told her “Me cortaré el brazo antes de que dejes de ir a la escuela,” (I’ll cut my arm off before you stop going to school).

Thanks to the support of her father, the Latina who recently graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida is attending graduate school in the fall. Student loans and debt will not be following her.

Last year, Ozores captured the attention of Twitter when she posted a photo of her father congratulating her after her graduation.

In a series of posts on her Twitter account, the psychology major shared a photo from her big day and her story of deciding to leave school before her parents intervened to help. In a post written by Ozores on her blog site, the new graduate explained how she and her parents “crafted a game plan to get me to the finish line in whatever ways we could manage. My mom began cleaning houses, her 60-year old body bending and stretching to polish the homes of people who voted to kick her out of this country, for my education. I started working thirty hours a week at a fast food restaurant while balancing a full load of classes. We made it work.”

Ozores’ post on Twitter quickly went viral.

Of course, trolls who caught wind of the student’s post quickly flooded it with hate and derogatory words. Many even started to tag ICE and called for her deportation. Fortunately, Ozores is a DACA recipient and is protected from being expelled from the country. She has a social security number as well as work authorization.

In response to the posts, the new graduate explained that her scholarship had been given to her for her academic achievements in high school with her full story given to USF. “The university had all my documents but still gave it to me, I never lied or falsified anything,” she explained on Twitter. “The scholarship also came with in-state tuition, as do all at my school. When they realized their mistake they took both away and made me pay back the scholarship money they had already given me.”

While trolls have done their best to flood Ozores’ story with hate, there’s no doubting how her story has impacted users on the platform.

Despite some ugly comments, many following and commenting on Ozores’ thread on Twitter have offered their support.

In fact, some undocumented students have started sharing their own experiences on her thread

As of early Tuesday, Ozares’ post had received nearly two hundred thousand comments. Hundreds of which included stories from fellow DREAMers and undocumented students

And most of us are simply just excited to see the great things she goes on to do next.

According to Camila’s account, she’ll be attending Colorado State University this coming fall.

Because by the looks of it she has big plans to help out the undocumented community.

Here’s to this year’s undocumented graduate students and DREAMers paving a way for themselves!


Read: Here’s How Activists In The U.S. Are Welcoming Women Refugees Who Traveled On The Central American Caravan

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After Denying It, HUD Declares Federal Housing Administration Is No Longer Helping DACA Recipients With Housing Loans

Things That Matter

After Denying It, HUD Declares Federal Housing Administration Is No Longer Helping DACA Recipients With Housing Loans

In a blow to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says young undocumented immigrants will be ineligible for federally backed housing loans. The news comes after months of confusion about the policy for immigrants who were brought here as children. Back in April, Secretary of HUD, Ben Carson denied this at a congressional testimony but a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official said last week DACA recipients are indeed not eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are intended to make homeownership more attainable for those with lower credit scores and incomes.

Credit:@hispaniccaucus/Twitter

“Because DACA does not confer lawful status, DACA recipients remain ineligible for FHA loans,” Len Wolfson, a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official, wrote in a letter to California Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar last Tuesday. “Determination of citizenship and immigration status is not the responsibility of HUD, and the Department relies on other government agencies for this information.”

The latest declaration is a reversal from HUD’s previous statements to questions about whether FHA is backing mortgages for DACA recipients. The Trump administration has been trying to rescind the Obama era policy but has been blocked by a federal judge from doing so.

“I’m sure we have plenty of DACA recipients who have FHA mortgages,” Carson said at a congressional hearing in April. “I would simply say that I have instructed everyone to follow the laws of the United States with regard to DACA, with regard to anyone who is an immigrant or a potential immigrant to this country, and as long as you continue to follow the laws you will have my approval.

In the letter, Wolfson put the blame on the Obama administration for the policy and its regulations. He references former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s letter from 2012 that DACA “confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship” for recipients.

Even after Carson said that “plenty of DACA recipients” were receiving FHA-backed loans, lenders were being told to do the exact opposite.

Credit:@buzzfeednews/Twitter

According to Buzzfeed News, After Carson denied the notion that DACA recipients weren’t being approved for FHA loans, many reported that they were still being denied help.

“The explanation we received from HUD is inconsistent with the realities on the ground and statements made by Secretary Carson to members of the Appropriations Committee, and it does nothing to clarify the confusion created by the agency’s inconsistent policies,” Aguilar said in a statement to BuzzFeed News last Thursday.

The FHA has never stated that receiving a loan means requiring citizenship or lawful status.

Credit:@senjackyrosen

DACA recipients had previously never faced problems when applying for federally-backed housing assistance. FHA has also never had a clear policy that pertains to DACA recipients. According to the FHA’s single-family housing handbook, a housing guide the agency refers lenders to, notes that an Employment Authorization Document, which DACA recipients possess, is necessary “to substantiate work status” for noncitizens and qualifies them for such loans.

Under the Obama administration, HUD was supporting DACA borrowers under these circumstances. Yet the Trump administration has clearly enforced these guidelines differently.

“We know that DACA recipients have received these loans in the past, and it’s shameful that HUD is allowing the president’s anti-immigrant agenda to dictate housing policy,” Aguilar told Buzzfeed News.

This news comes out as the House Financial Services Committee last Wednesday passed a bill, Homeownership for DREAMers Act, that guarantees DACA recipients have the right to obtain federally backed mortgages.

This means recipients also can not be denied based on their immigration status. The bill is set to go to the House floor for approval, but many believe it’s unlikely the bill will pass the Republican-held Senate or be signed into law by the president.

READ: With Democrats Now In Charge Of The House, What Does That Mean For DACA Moving Forward?

He Is One Of Broadway’s Best Choreographers And His Story Of Being Undocumented To Chase His Dream Is Inspiring

Entertainment

He Is One Of Broadway’s Best Choreographers And His Story Of Being Undocumented To Chase His Dream Is Inspiring

sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

Colombian dancer and choreographer Sergio Trujillo has lived a life, and it’s getting more colorful. The artist won his first Tony award last weekend and took his stage moment to thank his cast, his husband, and to come out as a formerly undocumented immigrant.

This isn’t just a story about an immigrant who has made spectacular contributions to American culture and art. Trujillo wants other dreamers to know that, despite the political climate, they should keep fighting for their dreams. Anything’s possible.

Trujillo first dedicated his award “to my Colombian family who had taught me to love music and dance since I was a little boy.”

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

As Trujillo stepped up to the mic to make his acceptance speech, he literally jumped up and down on the stage. “I’m so lucky,” he began. “There are so many people I love in my life.” He specifically thanked his mother and siblings in Spanish and continued his speech in English.

“I arrived in New York City over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.”

@JuntaHispana / Twitter

“I didn’t just show up yesterday,” he announced. “I arrived in NYC over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.” Trujillo later told AP News that his announcement felt like he was coming out as a gay man all over again.

Only his husband, family, and close friends knew about his immigration story.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

He opened up about the internalized shame he still carries from living in the U.S. without papers. “One keeps it so deep inside, it’s like a secret that one must maintain. So when I talk about it I still feel guilty, like I’m doing something wrong,” he told AP.

Trujillo felt called to use his platform to send a message of hope to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“I stand here as proof,” he said to an audience giving him a standing ovation. “For all those dreamers, I want you to hear this. The American dream is still alive. You just have to keep on fighting because change will come.”

Trujillo quickly code-switched and concluded with a rallying call in Spanish.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“For all those who are listening, I want you to know that if I, Sergio Trujillo, born in Cali, Colombia, can win this moment, so can you. You can do it.”

Trujillo’s family moved from Cali, Colombia to Canada when he was 12 years old.

@murphymade / Instagram

They lived there illegally for a few years until they were granted amnesty. He then crossed the Canadian border with his Colombian passport and stayed illegally for ten more years until he was granted citizenship.

He studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto until he quit to try his luck on Broadway.

@stepsonbroadway / Instagram

He lived at friends’ houses, took dance classes and auditioned. Once he started being hired to perform in Broadway shows, he was able to get temporary visas.

Trujillo’s hard work has certainly paid off.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

While he hasn’t publicly spoken about this very long chapter of his life–one which necessitated his success–he told AP that “now, more than ever, is the perfect time to talk about that.” Trujillo doesn’t anticipate dancing at the White House anytime soon.

In 2014, four Broadway shows, all choreographed by him, were playing at the same time.

@Venmedios / Twitter

Trujillo first started out as a dancer on Broadway and worked up to become a choreographer. He’s also won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Memphis in 2015.

His first Tony is for Best Choreography for Ain’t Too Proud.

@KosherComputing / Instagram

The Broadway musical is based on the lives of The Temptations. As the Chicago White Sox owner is seeking to commemorate the organized burning of disco and soul music created by Black and Latinx artists, this commemoration of The Temptations is more important than ever.

His first Tony nomination was for his work on On Your Feet!–the Broadway depiction of the lives of the Estefans.

@gloriaestefan / Instagram

In an Instagram post, the infamous Gloria Estefan congratulated Trujillo, “CONGRATULATIONS to the wonderful @sergiotrujillo1 who was nominated previously for our musical, @onyourfeetbway and last night won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography for @AintTooProud. #TonyAwards This is SO well deserved and it’s about time, baby!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”

His name has also graced the Broadway production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

His work on that production earned him a 2018 Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. The entire cast was all-female.

Trujillo has been with his husband, Jack Noseworthy, for 30 years.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

The two met in 1990 and married in 2011. Just last year, they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family.

We stan this family photo.

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

“My world all in one beautiful picture!!!!,” Trujillo’s caption reads. We assume that the woman is his beautiful mother. We’re mami’s boys and girls all our lives.

Apparently, if Trujillo was trapped on a desert island forever, he’d want to be with Jeremy Pope.

@jeremypope / Instagram

He played Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud, so the two have worked together. Don’t worry. We have footage of Trujillo’s husband’s reaction.

Noseworthy’s face when hearing Turjillo’s answer:

TodayTix / YouTube

Trujillo digs the hole deeper when he says that Pope is just so talented that he’d be able to do anything. He’s also a good cook.

Honey, you in trouble.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has named him one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world.

@theatre_direct / Twitter

His work cannot be denied, and, truthfully, neither can his love for marido, Jack. Happy Pride.

Congrats on your Tony and a much-appreciated coming out, Trujillo!

@sergiotrujillo1 / Instagram

This time, for coming out as a once undocumented immigrant. Your story is an inspiration.

READ: This Colombian Model Was Told To Bleach Her Birthmark — But She Put Her Foot Down

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