EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — One DACA recipient shared with KTSM 9 News her hopes and dreams for not only her future, but the future of thousands of Dreamers looking for their pathways to citizenship under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.
Dreamer Claudia Ioli came to the United States with her mother from Venezuela and grew up in El Paso for the majority of her life. Ioli said she knows the work for change will be a long road, however, believes it can be done with people working collectively.
“My mother came to this country with a suitcase and a dream. I have the ability to work in this country, I have the ability to have pursued an education in this country because of the sacrifices my single mother made as an immigrant,” Ioli said.
Ioli is a Dreamer who works in advocacy, and currently engages with young women of color to become changemakers as part of the “Deeds Not Words” nonprofit organization.
“We believe that as the largest, most diverse voting generation in history, largest and most diverse — let that sink in,” Ioli said. “We deserve to see that representation reflected into the people we’re electing into office and the policies we’re enacting in our communities”
According to Biden’s campaign website, the President-elect said he will remove uncertainty for Dreamer’s by reinstating the DACA program and would explore all legal options to protect immigrant families.
“I was excited because Joe Biden winning that race, Joe Biden being our next President is definitely a win for immigrants, because now we have a fighting chance to advocate for the policies that our communities deserve,” Iolo shared.
Ioli, among with other Dreamers, is hoping for change in the path to American citizenship.
“I think that we, as Dreamers and as DACA recipients, deserve a pathway to citizenship that is not coming at the expense of border militarization, that’s not coming at the expense of further family separation and that is really celebrating us as people who contribute so much to our communities across the country.”
While the wait for Congress to consider passing a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients continues, Ioli said it would mean allow for her to do such things as travel freely and having the right vote.
“People like me who have been in this situation — 800,000 of us — have so much aspirations to show up at the ballot and really tell our story,” Ioli shared. “The story of our parents, the story of our families, the story of our communities, and the story of us as immigrants showing up to vote in loud numbers.”
Ioli also added that she believes the Biden-Harris administration can reflect more representation in different communities and provide more options for Dreamers, such as access to health care and equitable education.