By: Milani Jones
Equality, support, action. Senior Raul Raymundo dedicates his life and work to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA. DACA is an executive order created by former President Barack Obama to give temporary two year protection from deportation and authorization to work for young immigrant adults brought to live in America as children. This order affects children who have lived in the U.S. without legal status since June 15, 2007 to present day. The Dream Act could help DACA by extending protection permanently and helping the nearly 800,000 Dreamers in America attend college. In Illinois, there are approximately 45,000 Dreamers.
“I volunteered at DACA at Back of the Yards High School, the Mexican Consulate, at The Resurrection Project, and at citizenship workshops during my high school years. I helped there by filling out applications and organizing information about DACA. I also attended many peaceful protests full of young teens and adults to fight for laws to give DACA immigrants permanent legal status in the United States,” Raymundo said.
The Resurrection Project is a community organization that specializes in affordable housing, immigration reform, and safety education. Rise and Organize, the most popular group within DACA, was created by the Resurrection Project last summer to get youth to help their communities and to participate in protests, workshops, and meetings to learn more about DACA. Many of the volunteers, such as Raymundo, have family members or friends in DACA, so volunteering matters.
“I have always felt that Dreamers, immigrants, deserve a right to live an American life and contribute to our society in our communities. I would like people to know that there are activists, such as me, that are living the mission of faith, serve, and community to create social and equal justice for everyone,” Raymundo said. “DACA needs activists help to prevent thousands of young people from being deported. What is at stake is the dreams of DACA students from achieving true values and potential.”
Living the motto of faith, service, and community, Raymundo also participates in the clubs and activities within the De community. Raymundo is an assistant manager of the varsity football team and the varsity girls soccer team. He is also in Creative Writing Club and Chess Club.
“I feel as all of these efforts have been good experiences to prepare me for the future and give me the chance to meet new people and also to help those in need. My favorite thing about DACA is fighting for justice for immigrants and meeting new people like me with the same vision for peace,” Raymundo said. “I am inspired to fight for DACA even though there have been obstacles at school to promote DACA to inform teens who only know one side of the argument. In the future, I can see myself organizing, helping, and teaching people about human rights and equal opportunity because I always feel like I accomplished something when I help do work with The Resurrection Project and Rise and Organize.”