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Monday, June 15, 2015

Causa and Immigrant Families Celebrate Nearly 700,000 Success Stories at Third Anniversary of ‘Dreamer’ Program

Causa and Immigrant Families Celebrate Nearly 700,000 Success Stories at Third Anniversary of ‘Dreamer’ Program

Stories highlight Oregonians whose lives benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

Salem, Ore. – Since its announcement by President Obama on June 15th, 2012, nearly 700,000 immigrant youth nationwide — 11,631 in Oregon — have applied for and received DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – allowing them to work and study in the United States while being temporarily protected from deportation.
To celebrate the third anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Causa is releasing four stories from Oregonians whose lives were changed by DACA at

“Three years in, we’ve seen the positive changes that DACA has had on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, from being able to work legally and further contribute to our communities, to going back to school, buying their first car, or starting a new job, DACA has changed lives,” said Andrea Miller, Causa's Executive Director. “DACA is a model of what further deferred action programs for parents can look like, and it’s been a vast step forward for our country.”

“DACA has resulted in nearly 700,000 immigrant youth success stories nationwide – 11,631 in Oregon alone.  We encourage young people to explore if they can benefit from DACA by visiting"

“DACA has shown us the kind of positive impact that deferred action programs can have for individuals, their families, and the entire community. We must and will have deferred action for immigrant parents of U.S. born and legal permanent resident children.”


Causa is Oregon’s statewide Latino immigrant rights organization. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights by coordinating with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit

 Here are four stories from Oregonians whose lives were changed by DACA:

Sara’s Story

Sara Ramirez was born in Jalisco, Mexico and immigrated at the age of 7 to the United States with her parents. They lived in Los Angeles and then moved to Oregon. While learning to speak English and adapting to a new environment was challenging at first, Sara quickly become part of the community.

Sara Ramirez photo“Everyone kept asking me about higher education, what college I was going to, the career I wanted to pursue and I would say ‘I don’t know’. But in the back of my mind, I was thinking, ‘I can’t’. Part of me was kind of hiding who my real identity was. It was a little bit shameful.”
“At first, I was kind of skeptical about applying for DACA, but decided to put any fears aside and apply. I don’t know why but it was scary, but once I got my work permit, my social security number, it was all worth it.”
“With DACA, I don’t have to worry about deportation. I work legally, I can file my taxes. I can step out of what they call the shadows. I can have an identity and not worry. It also took some worries off my parents’ backs, and they feel more comfortable knowing that I am not worrying.”  
-Sara Ramirez
Causa assisted Sara with her DACA application in the summer of 2012, and she has continued to advocate for immigration reform, travelling to Washington D.C. with Causa. Sara has put a hold on her education to help her parents out financially. She hopes to return to school and one day pursue a career in non-profit work.

Miriam’s Story

Miriam Corona was born in Michoacán, Mexico and at just 9 months old immigrated with her family to Oregon. Like other DREAMers, Miriam excelled in school and had goals of one day attending higher education. After graduating from high school, she received a scholarship to get an associate’s degree at Chemeketa Community College.
“I think the biggest thing is that sense of security. Knowing that you aren’t miriamgoing to be deported if you admit to the authorities that you are undocumented. Or I’ve traveled within the country, so I go to the airport, I don’t fear that oh my gosh what if TSA finds out I’m undocumented and they bring immigration and deport me right there and then. So it feels really good to know that, yea I’m undocumented but I’m protected. I’m not going to be deported. That sense of security that you aren’t going to be deported. Being able to work legally, it feels really good to not have to lie anymore when you look for a job. It really does.”
“I have more dignity, you know. Even as simple as the fact that I’m able to drive legally with a driver’s license is huge, it’s like yea, you have this tool to get your basic necessities.”
“DACA really changed my life, so I feel a sense of responsibility to give back and help others have this opportunity.”  
-Miriam Corona
Currently Miriam is working and really enjoying her job. She feels fortunate to have been able to attend college and have the opportunity to start a career that she loves. Miriam has become a source of information to many others through her experience in applying for and receiving DACA.

Aldo’s Story

Aldo Solano was born in Colima, Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 6 where he completed 1st and 2nd grade. Shortly he returned to Mexico but immigrated back to the U.S. right before 5th grade.
“I am able to get a job. Without being afraid of getting in trouble, you know-aldo- For not applying to a job with the right information. That in itself is such a good feeling that you go up to an employer, you are asking for a job with all your right information. It just feels good to have an identity.”
“You need ID for a lot of things—such as your license. But like, you want to go open a bank account, you know, most banks ask you for an ID. If you can get some sort of credit or anything, you need that. If you get pulled over by a cop or something, for whatever reason, you are requested to show an ID. Now you have one. But I think more than anything, more than just the physical aspect of the ID…just to know that you are part of… you are part of this country. You are out in the light without feeling iffy about things. That’s the greatest thing.”
- Aldo Solano
Aside from motivating those around him to take action and become part of this movement for immigrant rights, Aldo has goals of returning to school after saving some money. Upon completion he hopes to one day become part of a non-profit addressing social justice issues in the Willamette Valley.

Juanita’s Story

Juanita lived in Veracruz, Mexico for three years before she moved to Sonora. At the age of 9 she immigrated to the United States.
juanita“I have so many opportunities, I’ve been working all over the place now and I feel secure about getting a job. Now that I know I have the qualities, it makes me feel extremely happy to know that I have a higher chance to move in a job or finish my education because I can go anywhere I want. I am more confident with it.
It makes me so happy, you know. Like yay! A new opportunity is coming from that. I encourage others to apply for DACA. If I can do it, you can do it. Don’t be afraid.”
- Juanita Anecito
Juanita graduated from high school with a 4.0 and honors. Today, she pays for her own education and attends Chemeketa Community College and will be transferring to Portland State University.


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