DREAMERS IN our community
Luis is a 19-year-old freshman at Eastern New Mexico University where he plays soccer and is majoring in physical education. He hopes to work with children and communities in New Mexico to teach them the importance of being active. Luis came to Santa Fe with his parents when he was four, and his family has been here ever since. His three younger brothers were all born in the US. Without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, he wouldn't have been able to get scholarships or a job to pay for college—he currently works as a house painter. Free legal services helped make all of this possible: "My parents work hard, but they have a family and a mortgage so $3,000 is way out of our budget. Because of Santa Fe Dreamers I'm able to continue my dreams and my education."
Lizbeth came to the US with her mom and sister when she was nine years old and graduated from Santa Fe High School. She is currently finishing her associate degree and works as a dental assistant. Without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Lizbeth doesn't think she'd have been able to go to college. Her husband works for a tax lawyer and they are hoping to buy a house where their son, Diego Rubio, can grow up. "Knowing that I won't be separated from my son comforts me and it comforts my family," she says. "Allegra understands young people and she communicates and connects with us by doing so."
Mauricio was 15 when he came to the US with his parents and older brother and has been here for almost 10 years. After earning a B.S. and an M.A. in social work, Mauricio started working as an investigator at CYFD. He is also a community supporter for Agave Health and a coordinator for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, where he teaches kids traditional dance. Without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the stipend he was able to apply for to pay for college, Mauricio guesses he'd be waiting tables somewhere. "Allegra's work impacts the whole community in a huge way," he says. "She epitomizes what it means to give back and what it means to have power and use it in a positive manner."