Faces of Dreamers: Hector Rivera Suarez, Guilford College

January 17, 2018

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This is one in a series of posts on individual Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as young children, many of whom are under threat of deportation following the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA.

With the clock ticking and the politics swirling, 20-year-old Hector Rivera Suarez watches and waits.

Rivera Suarez arrived in North Carolina from Mexico when he was 8 years old along with his older sister and parents. He spoke no English but went to summer school and set about catching up to his classmates. Since then, Rivera Suarez has excelled and graduated near the top of his high school class and also earned a two-year associate’s degree.

Today, Rivera Suarez is the student body president at Guilford College in Greensboro and dreams of becoming a teacher. Last week, he traveled to Washington, DC, to encourage Congress to make a deal to extend DACA.

On Capitol Hill, surrounded by other Dreamers and members of Congress, Rivera Suarez stepped to the microphone and told his story to a C-SPAN audience, later recounting his experiences to the News & Observer.

“I’ve worked hard. I’ve made all these decisions to better my future and to create a career for myself,” he said. “But it’s very hard that every time you look at the news, there’s something different being talked about that will affect your future. It does create that feeling that you have no control over it.”

The video of him speaking on Capitol Hill made his mother cry. It had a similar effect on Guilford College President Jane Fernandes, who blogged about it Friday.

“Hector was so impressive as he spoke with powerful eloquence,” Fernandes wrote. “I was moved to tears by his words. The people watching with me were equally impressed and proud. I admire Hector for his courage and commitment to our city, state, and nation–the only home he has ever had.”

To read the full story, click here.

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