100 Stories: Nestor Ruiz

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provided Nestor with a lot of relief personally. He’s fighting to help Democrats push for progressive immigration reform, so his friends and family can know the same sense of relief.

Before DACA, I remember going with my sister-in-law to get work applications from nearby stores. I knew that I couldn’t apply but I didn’t want to say anything. We went from business to business. We went so far out that we had to call someone to pick us up. I clearly remember dropping her off and then coming home with a stack of papers that asked for a social security number that I did not have. I carry that feeling with me every day.

When DACA was first announced, I was confused and didn’t really know much about it because I was in and out of the immigration rights movement while I worked. I remember getting a call from a friend who told me to check the news because President Obama was going to announce something that we might be able to benefit from.

I watched as he walked to the Rose Garden and stood behind the podium and began to speak. When he mentioned the requirements I knew I qualified, and I got a sense of relief I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

I haven’t been able to stop remembering my mother’s face as she saw me sign the papers that would change my future. Three years later and I am waiting for my renewal to get approved but my mom still lives with the fear of being deported.

I was excited that I had an opportunity to live without fear of deportation, even if it was for two years at a time. I never forgot what this meant for me because I know people that did not qualify and did not get to experience this relief. I carry them with me in every job I take.

Even though I cannot vote, I know by standing alongside Hillary Clinton that my voice will be heard. I will be doing my part. I will be out on the streets talking to Democrats that will be voting this election and making sure that they stand with me and my family. This is our election, so let’s make it count!

Nestor signing his DACA paperwork.

Why are you supporting Democrats up and down the ballot in North Carolina? Share your story with us today.