The White House will honor young immigrants who have received deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Ten young DACA recipients from Mexico, Colombia, Taiwan, Morocco, the Philippines and India will be recognized by the White House as “Champions of Change”.
These young immigrants were brought to the U.S. as children and were living here without legal status until they received deferred action status. According to the White House, they have now become role models.
President Obama, by issuing an executive order, implemented the DACA program in 2012. This program has benefited several undocumented youth living here. A study released by Harvard researchers shows that more than 60% of deferred action recipients have obtained new jobs and six-in-ten have obtained driver’s licenses. Many have also opened bank accounts. Another good news for these young immigrants is that they can now apply for deferred action renewal.
Following are the DACA recipients who will be honored by the White House as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) White House Champions of Change, for their exemplary leadership in their communities. The White House has also announced that these Champions of Change will be invited to the White House every week to share their ideas.
Hector Salamanca Arroyo, a Mexican, committed himself to service and advocacy to create social change after receiving deferred action status. He is currently a junior at Drake University.
Steven Arteaga, a DACA recipient who was born in Mexico, began working at Mi Familia Vota (MFV) after receiving this temporary status in 2013.
Mexican-born Anahi Mendoza, currently living in California, founded a DREAM club to help undocumented youth go to college. Her focus is on the U.S. immigration policy and social change.
Kamal Essaheb migrated to the U.S. at a very young age from Morocco. He works at the National Immigration Law Center where he engages in advocacy that focuses on the passage of the DREAM Act and on the enforcement of immigration law.
Pratishtha Khanna from New Delhi, India, is a DACA recipient who emigrated to the U.S. when she was 10. She is a member of Dreamers for DREAMers student organization at UMBC and the API Youth Convening-DACA Collaborative planning committee. Once she graduates, she will be able to work as an emergency room medical scribe.
Rhustie Marcelo Valdizno, who was born in the Philippines, came to the U.S. when he was 15. By sharing his experiences as an undocumented immigrant, he advocates for humane immigration policies at Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast (RAISE).
Ana Zaragoza, Sarahi Espinoza, Esther Yu Hsi Lee, Dayana Elvira Torres are the other four DACA recipients who will be honored by the White House as Champions of Change, along with the above.