Virginia’s DREAMers are standing up and speaking out about this election
Meet two sisters who are fighting to elect Hillary Clinton.
On the four-year anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (also known as DACA) enrollment beginning, sisters Natalia and Alejandra Rodas-Calderon stood side-by-side and shared their story with the world.
Natalia and Alejandra are DREAMers. Both were born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Natalia was four when her family moved to the United States. Alejandra was two. Their parents weren’t planning on staying in the United States, but Natalia and Alejandra quickly picked up English and began thriving in school. Their parents wanted to give Natalia and Alejandra a chance at the American dream — so they overstayed their visa.
“They let the visa expire to keep an expiration date off of our education,” the sisters say.
DACA protects Natalia and Alejandra — and 11,000 other Virginians — from being deported because of their status as undocumented immigrants.
Hillary Clinton’s pledge to defend DACA and do everything possible under the law to keep immigrant families together means a lot to Natalia and Alejandra.
“Having Hillary support us, and knowing that she is helping to give us a future here — honestly, it’s incredible. She’s someone that’s compassionate, and she’s someone that deserves to be president. And she’s competing against someone who doesn’t reach into their hearts and see that we are just like you.”
Natalia says that Donald Trump’s pledge to eliminate DACA and send a “deportation force” into communities across America scares her.
“I can’t help just picturing scenarios where my parents are all of a sudden gone,” she says. “Or sending in people to round us up; what does that mean? It’s definitely worrisome.”
Alejandra agrees. “These candidates have polar opposite views on us. One sees our immense values to U.S. society, the other criminalizes us. Losing us is a loss for America. This is the only home we know,” they say.
Both women will spend the next few months talking to families and communities about why it’s so important that everyone who’s able to vote casts a ballot for Hillary in November.
Alejandra is optimistic. “I believe that love always does trump hate,” she says. “And I think love, in the end, will trump Trump.”
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