“United We Dream.” This could be an inspirational bumper sticker on a car in any U.S. state, red or blue. How could these three words possibly be associated with anything divisive? Dreaming is universal, after all.
Cristina Jiménez dreams. She dreams big. She dreams because she wants there to be a future for the roughly 700,000 young people who, by no choice of their own, were brought to the U.S. as children by their undocumented immigrant parents. She dreams because she wants the fear and anxiety of the unknown to end. She dreams because her family and United We Dream members are some of the Dreamers who are affected by the reversal of DACA.
After arriving in Queens at the age of 13 from Ecuador, Cristina experienced living in the shadows firsthand and wanted to fight back. She co-founded United We Dream in 2008, the first and largest organization run by youth to protect and defend immigrant rights. Cristina and the rest of the tireless United We Dream members played an important role in President Obama’s decision to sign the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
As a nation of immigrants, the country is filled with those who believe in the American Dream: the ideal that everyone should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination.
Cristina Jiménez is the American Dream.
Gomez is an actor, singer and UNICEF ambassador