Oct. 27th “WHATS AT STAKE: Immigration, the National Election and Beyond"

United We Dream is the organization started by those who are known as the “Dreamers”, the large community of young, undocumented immigrants living in the United States. LOCCA’s first program invited them to talk about their experiences of life living in the shadows, and then courageously out in the open and without fear of their status as residents. Our event was hosted by Veronica Bernal, an attorney representing this community in south Texas. Invited to the panel were Oscar Hernandez, Raul Alcaraz-Ochoa and Citlalli Alvarez Almendariz all organizers for UWD. Not only did we hear about their accounts of living in fear and being discovered by the authorities, but their transformation to decide not to succumb to this condition. Due to President Obama’s executive action, children who are under 31 and without resident documentation qualify for the Deferred Action for Children Arrives (DACA). DACA allows them to get a driver’s license, have a job with benefits, get a social security number, permits them to help their family financially, etc. This program has permitted this section our U.S. undocumented community to come out of the shadows to push for immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship. LOCCA’s partner, the University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies, was on hand as well represented by its director, Dr. Pamela Quiroz.