From the time we were toddlers, my brother Alex and I have lived in the United States and consider this
country our home. But after 13 years of fighting an asylum petition, our family lost its case and we
became undocumented immigrants. Throughout high school, I struggled with the fact that no matter
how hard I worked my status would be a roadblock to a college education and future career aspirations.
When Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials raided my home at six in the morning, only
two months after my high school graduation, those fears and anxieties became a reality.
Our family was taken to await deportation. After years of hard work and excelling, in spite of my status,
I had finally lost all hope. Luckily, ten of my most valuable friends decided to take up my cause and
search for any way to delay deportation to Colombia. They remembered a time when I mentioned the
DREAM Act as a potential saving grace and decided to contact local media and Congressmen. They’re
attempts made national news and by a stroke of luck, my mother was put in touch with Kelleen Corrigan
and Cheryl Little from Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC). They provided the legal and lobbying
expertise to defend Alex and me. My friends and lawyers at FIAC pointed to our case as an example for
why the DREAM Act was a necessary piece of legislation in a long string of important changes that could
begin repairing one of the many injustices of this country’s immigration system.
Because of their efforts, we were awarded a reprieve and I was able to continue my college education, graduating from Georgetown University this past May. I am now employed at JP Morgan Chase and Co. in New York as an analyst in the Latin American division. Even with all of the fortunes I’ve been afforded, however, I am still very reliant on the DREAM Act’s passage to continue to excel in this great country.
Join Juan in fighting for the DREAM Act by supporting the advocacy, policy and legal representation Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center does on behalf of DREAMers.Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) formerly Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC) has been fighting for the American dream since its founding in 1996. One of the nation’s largest non-profit immigration law firms,AI Justice represents vulnerable immigrants at no charge. This direct service work informs its broader policy work. AI Justice influences national policy; successfully litigates or otherwise challenges patterns of abuse; and educates the public about the impact immigration laws and directives have on our communities. AI Justice is dedicated to protecting and promoting the basic rights of immigrants. www.aijustice.org | 3000 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 400 Miami, Florida 33137