***Available for Interviews***
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DACA Recipients will also be available to the media at Lafayette Park after the WH meeting
DACA Recipients Met with President Biden with the Message: Next 100 Days are Decisive for Delivering a Pathway to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants
DACA Meeting with President Biden– Today, DACA recipients met with President Biden to remind him of the promises he made on the campaign trail and the need for his Administration to lead and deliver a path for citizenship and legalization for immigrant youth, TPS, essential workers and farmworkers. DACA recipients are American in every way, yet they’ve been living in limbo for nearly nine years as Republicans have continued to attack their deportation protections. The DACA program is not permanent and a federal judge could determine the fates of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients at any moment.
As Congress begins a new effort to provide pandemic economic relief it is imperative that citizenship for immigrant youth, DACA, TPS, essential workers and farmworkers is included.
The following people are available to comment on this meeting and its implications for upcoming legislation:
DACA Recipients who met with President Biden
Maria Praeli, 27, Washington, D.C. (Available in English and Spanish) Maria Praeli moved to the United States from Peru in 1999 when she was five years old to seek medical treatment for her sister, whose leg was amputated in a car accident. Today, Maria is the Government Relations Manager at FWD.us. Her work focuses on strengthening outreach efforts to elected officials, providing education and resources on immigration policy to congressional offices, and working on special projects related to Dreamers and TPS holders. Prior to joining FWD.us, Maria was the deputy director for canvas at Mi Familia Vota, where she worked on initiatives to build broad community partnerships and drive stronger voter engagement in Nevada. After moving from Peru, Maria attended public schools in Connecticut before earning an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Gateway Community College, and then a bachelor’s degree in political science from Quinnipiac University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Media Contact: Leezia Dhalla, email@example.com
Karen Reyes, Austin, Texas. (Available in English and Spanish) Karen is a DACA recipient, Special Education teacher in Austin where she teaches elementary children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and a member of United We Dream. After immigrating from Mexico at the age of two with her mother, Karen grew up in San Antonio, TX, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Education and her Master’s degree in Deaf Education and Hearing Science. While working toward her Master’s degree, she found a passion for teaching the youngest learners. In addition to teaching full time, Karen is a proud union member and currently serves on the Executive Board of her local union, Education Austin (a merged local affiliated with the NEA and AFT) , and was recently re-elected to the Board of Trustees of the Austin Central Labor Council. In 2018, her advocacy work earned her recognition as a finalist for the NEA Social Justice Activist of the Year award. Media Contact: Jose@unitedwedream.org
Leydy Rangel, 26, Coachella Valley, California. (Available in English and Spanish) Leydy has been protected from deportation as a DACA recipient since 2013, she is the daughter of migrant farm workers from California. Leydy spent many summer and winter breaks during her time in college working in the fields with her parents. After graduating college in 2017, Leydy joined the UFW Foundation’s communications team. The UFW Foundation is a non-profit that empowers and advocates for immigrants, farm workers, and Latinos, and is the largest immigration legal services provider in rural California.Media contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Immigration Leaders/Experts:
Bruna Sollod, 29, New Jersey: Bruna moved from Brazil to the United States with her parents and younger sister when she was eight years old. She received her DACA protections while at the University of Florida allowing her to complete a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies and political science, with minors in business administration and Portuguese. Bruna serves as the Communications Director at United We Dream, where she has been a strategist for multiple immigration campaigns including Clean Dream Act Now in 2017-2018, as well as the Home is Here, which led to immigrant youth’s victory at the Supreme Court on the DACA litigation. Bruna is a growing voice in the progressive movement, and has been featured most recently in CNN, The New York Times, the Guardian and NBC Latino. Media Contact: Jose@unitedwedream.org
Sergio Gonzales, Executive Director, The Immigration Hub Washington, D.C. (Available in English) Sergio brings a wealth of experience in both government and campaigns as the Hub’s Executive Director. Prior to joining the Hub, Sergio served as Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) on immigration, homeland security, government affairs, labor and LGTBQ issues. He worked closely with Sen. Harris on oversight of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, including family separation, the decision to end DACA, and expansion of ICE enforcement. Sergio was also Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and helped craft the gang of eight’s immigration reform bill in 2013. Additionally, he led efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusion across the federal government as Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under the Obama White House. Sergio also served as Regional Director for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign where he oversaw fourteen states and was Colorado Political Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and for Sen. Bennet’s race in 2010. He originally began his career as a social case worker helping teens to emancipate from the foster care system. Media Contact: Aaron Rodriguez, email@example.com
Todd Schulte, President, FWD.us. Todd Schulte is President of FWD.us, a bipartisan political organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when more individuals are able to achieve their full potential. In his eight years at FWD.us, Todd has tirelessly pushed for policies to modernize the U.S. immigration system and, in 2013, helped to successfully shepherd the bipartisan immigration reform bill (S.B. 744) through the United States Senate. In addition to immigration, Todd’s policy background includes work on healthcare and financial regulatory reform. Prior to joining FWD.us, Todd served as Chief of Staff at Priorities USA Action, the Super PAC that supported President Obama’s reelection and, from 2009-2010, was Chief of Staff for Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20). Starting in 2005, he spent two election cycles at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where he helped Democrats regain and expand their majority in the House of Representatives in both 2006 and 2008. Media Contact: Leezia Dhalla, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridgette Gomez, Campaign Director, We Are Home Campaign, Washington, DC.
Bridgette Gomez gained her organizing roots in the aftermath of SB1070, as the community organized against the broadest and strictest anti-immigrant bill at that time. She started her career as a math teacher. Shortly after, she began community organizing that has led her to incredible opportunities. For more than a decade, she has worked across the country on local and national campaigns as an organizer and movement builder rooted in social justice and advocating for the rights of low-income families, immigrants and communities of color. She worked on Obama’s 2012 Campaign in Nevada, served as the Deputy Field Director for the Fair Immigration reform Movement (FIRM) during the immigration reform push of 2013, and as the Director of Latino Engagement at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the presidential election year of 2016. She served as the Director of Latino Leadership and Engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund and most recently served as their National Director of Strategic Partnerships where she focused on fighting for sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice. Bridgette is a proud daughter of Colombian immigrants and the first generation in her family to attend college.
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