Madam Leader: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the House Democratic Leader’s Past Week
A week in photos: February 4–10, 2018
This week, Leader Pelosi gave the longest-running speech in the history of the House of Representatives, lasting over 8 hours. Leader Pelosi read the stories and letters of DREAMers from across the nation to push Speaker Ryan to hold a vote on a DREAM Act to protect Dreamers.
Read some of their stories below:
Andrea Carolina Ortiz Duran is God-driven, passionate, creative leader, born in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. Andrea migrated to the U.S. at the age of six with her parents and her four siblings. Having successfully navigated the education system as a first-generation undocumented student, she became a role-model for her siblings and community members. She recently graduated with honors in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a focus in management, human resources, and entrepreneurship. Andrea seeks to use her experience, education, and skills to support in uplifting Latino/Hispanic communities and underrepresented students.
Sun Hyoung came to the United States from South Korea. Being part of the DACA program has allowed for her to pursue her academic goals and hopefully she will be able to fulfill her dream of becoming a dentist. She graduated from UC Irvine Cum Laude and is now attending Western University of Health Sciences in the Doctor of Dental Medicine program. Despite the many challenges that came with having an undocumented status, Sun Hyoung overcame so much and is proud to be a DACA student. She hopes that sharing her story helps Dreamers and herself stay in the country she calls home.
Leezia Dhalla immigrated to Texas from Canada in 1996, when she was six years old. Her family entered the United States on a visa and tried multiple times to secure permanent residency, but their application stalled after an attorney filed their paperwork late, and again after an employer sponsoring them sold his business, requiring the family to restart the entire application process. A Northwestern University journalism graduate, Leezia graduated from high school in Texas with summa cum laude honors and has given several TED talks on her experiences as an undocumented immigrant.
Carlos migrated to the United States from Irapuato, Mexico at the age of 14 and currently lives in Kerrville, TX. After graduating from high school in, he received his B.A. in Psychology from Schreiner University. Carlos has also earned a M.S. in Sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Currently, he is attending the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he is pursuing a doctoral degree. Carlos has remained active in the immigrant community by coordinating students’ efforts at UTSA in mobilizing to defend their rights as undocumented and DACA students.
Jesper is a South Korean born immigrant brought to the United States when he was two years old. He received his Associate’s degree and is pursuing a degree in computer science, while working a his school’s photography studio. He continues to volunteer at his church and his high school’s Key Club.
Tomas Evangelista (Watch his story)
At the age of 2, Tomas Evangelist came to the United States from Mexico with his mother in search for a better life. Unfortunately, only after a year of being together in the United States, his mother passed away from cancer. His grandparents took him in and he grew up in Northern California where he ran cross country and track at Pacer High School. Following his high school career, Tomas received an Associates of Arts in Social Science and in 2014 he completed his Bachelor’s of Arts in Kinesiology. Today, he works for the non-profit organization, Latino Leadership Council. He intends to attend Lincoln Law School in Sacramento, California in Spring of 2018. Tomas co-founded California Dreamers with fellow DACA recipient. They seek to change the negative narrative surrounding immigration with facts and through sharing personal stories.
“We not only want to be in the right side of history. We want to be on the right side of the future. And to be on the right side of the future, we have to recognize who we are as a country. What our values are.”