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June 03, 2016

Aguilar Hosts Immigration Story Share for Inland Empire Community

Last night, Rep. Pete Aguilar hosted an Immigration Story Share at California State University, San Bernardino’s DREAMers Resource and Success Center. Rep. Aguilar held the forum to hear from students about their personal stories of immigration and their experiences navigating the immigration system.

“I’m so grateful that these brave young men and women had the courage to stand up and share their stories with me,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “In a time where immigration reform has become so politicized, I think it was more important than ever that these students tell their personal stories and highlight what this is about—keeping families together and building stronger communities through tolerance and inclusivity.”

Over a dozen students told their stories during the forum that was framed in an open mic setting. One of those students was Veronica Velasquez, who shared how her father has struggled to find work and that her mother works three different jobs as a nurse to provide for her family. She said that she too wants to work in the field of medicine, adding, “I want to give back to the country that has provided so much for me.”

While telling her personal story, Maria Barragan-Arreguin explained that when people use discriminatory language and tell her to “go home” she can only respond with, “I can’t go home. I am already home.”

Rep. Aguilar has been a fierce advocate for immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. In April, Rep. Aguilar hosted an Immigration Roundtable Discussion that focused on how he can help the Inland Empire immigrant community. Last year, Rep. Aguilar was a resounding voice of support for the immigrant community against House Republicans’ attempts to shut down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over the president’s executive order on immigration. He has also called on DHS to end their expansion of the Family Detention Program of undocumented women and children.  Rep. Aguilar has signed four amicus curiae briefs in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs, which are being considered by the Supreme Court this month.

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