DACA recipient Hector Angeles
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient Hector Angeles can’t vote this November, but he’s doing everything he can to make sure you do. ”He spends his weekends and free time knocking on doors, telling residents his story and how important it is to vote,” ABC News reports. “On a Saturday afternoon, a clipboard and flyers in hand, he set out to spending two hours canvassing. His fate relies on those who casts ballots.”
Like many other DACA recipients, he was a young adult when he found out he wasn’t a U.S. citizen, despite having lived here since he was eight months old. “I lived my entire life happy, thinking I could do whatever I wanted,” he said, “and at that point it was all taken away.” Former President Barack Obama’s implementation of DACA in 2012—a victory by immigrant youth themselves—brought some stability to his life, but that’s all up in the air again because the Trump administration is hellbent on the ending the program.
Frustrated, “Angeles decided to work with United We Dream, a national immigration organization whose chapter in Houston is canvassing the city to encourage people to turn out on Election Day.” Immigrant youth and their allies have also been turning out the vote in critical races states like Florida, New Mexico, and Texas, which is home to the second largest population of DACA recipients in the nation.
Putting DACA recipients onto a path to citizenship is overwhelmingly popular among American voters, with a groundbreaking survey of young Latino voters saying that it ranks, along with health care for all, among their top two concerns. But U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, facing a worthy challenger in Beto O’Rourke, instead wants to put them onto a path to deportation. "I think it is unfair,” Cruz said about letting young immigrants stay in the only country they’ve ever known as home. “It is not right to give U.S. citizenship to people who came here illegally.”
Immigrant youth deserve better than Ted Cruz. "A lot of you have the opportunity to go out and make change happen,” Angeles continued, “so it is up to you, and everyone who is listening, to go out and be the voice for people who don't have one.”