Estrella and Alejandro
Estrella and Alejandro are a married couple and family of five from Grand Junction, Colorado. Estrella has been living in this country since the age of one and Alejandro first arrived in the United States at the age of 11. Their three children are all United States Citizens.
Estrella and Alejandro have had a complicated journey navigating America’s broken immigration system. As high school students in a pre-DACA America they were told not to follow their dreams because they would not be able to enroll in college. They followed their dreams and graduated high school anyway. After high school the couple moved in together and started growing their young family. Unfortunately, they soon learned that Alejandro had cancer. While he has thankfully survived, he is left with a nerve disease that has damaged nerves in his feet, yet he still continues to work construction, when able, to provide for his family struggling through it all.
In 2012 President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which Estrella qualified for. DACA has enabled her to go back to school and pursue her dreams of earning a college degree. Nevertheless, the stress of raising three small children, attending school and being a provider for her family with the reality that in an instant Alejandro could be deported is quite a struggle.
“It’s really sad when your children know this struggle. When they understand what can happen to their parents, and they’re really worried about it.”
“It’s really sad when your children know this struggle,” says Estrella, “When they understand what can happen to their parents, and they’re really worried about it. When you have to explain to your kids what would happen if you’re taken away – that’s something no parent should ever have to tell anybody, you know? ‘This is what happens, this is your emergency, this is who you call, this is what you have to do if we’re taken away.’ You know your children shouldn’t have to go through that. They should be worry-free.
“Everything that we do, we see it as our story but it is everybody’s story, it’s not just for us but for more than 11 million of us,” says Estrella. “That’s why we’re here. We don’t represent ourselves, we represent everybody… We are everybody’s voice.”
DAPA would mean security and stability for Alejandro and Estrella’s family.