U.S. Representative Jared Polis

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Polis to welcome DREAMer to Trump’s Joint Address

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Washington, February 27, 2017 | comments

Washington: Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., will welcome a DREAMer to President Trump’s Joint Address to Congress as an example of inclusivity and diversity.

Oscar Juarez-Luna moved to United States with his family from Mexico when he was a young child.  Oscar grew up only knowing the United States as home, and even wanted to serve the country in the military.  When he tried to enlist, he learned he was unable to do so because he was undocumented.  Soon after, Oscar pursued a degree in mechanical engineering, and has grown into an advocate for other immigrants who he says are ‘left in the shadows.’  

Today, Oscar is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary, like 750,000 other young people in the United States.  Through DACA, his deportation has been deferred, and he has obtained a permit to work legally.  Oscar would lose that permit if DACA is revoked.

“From when I was a young child, I have only known America as home.  I love this country, so much so that I wanted to defend its freedoms in the military for my community and my family.  My dreams are American dreams,” said Juarez-Luna.

In January, Polis, as well as several other members of Congress, announced that he would invite a person from a marginalized community as his guest to the address, and encouraged other members of Congress to do the same.  The goal is to fill the gallery of the House of Representatives with people directly impacted by divisive policies.  Every member of Congress is permitted to bring one guest to the address.

“Oscar and other aspiring American DREAMers represent what hold dear in the United States- a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. We must show President Trump how aspiring Americans make us greater- if only we let them.  I stand by Oscar and hard working immigrants like him on the night of the Joint Address, and every day before and thereafter," Polis said.

Since joining Congress in 2008, Polis has been a champion for fixing our broken immigration system to align with American values.  In October 2013, he introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, a bill that would have improved national security, streamlined our country’s guest worker system, and created a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented individuals.  The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would have reduced the deficit by nearly $200 billion over ten years.  The Senate companion of this landmark bill passed in June 2013 and was widely heralded as one of the most significant attempts at comprehensive immigration reform in decades.  He is also the co-chair of the Congressional Mexico Friendship Caucus.

Prior to serving in Congress, Polis founded The New America School - a network of charter schools in several states serving new immigrants and English-language learners.

Extended biography of Oscar:

Oscar Juarez-Luna was born in Toluca, Edo. Mexico and migrated to Phoenix, Arizona.  While growing up in Phoenix, Oscar knew he wanted to one day enlist in the military, but when he entered his senior year in high School, he discovered he was unable to join the armed forces due to his legal status.  In replacement of the armed forces, Oscar pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Oscar and his family fled from Arizona in 2010 and moved to Longmont, Colorado after the Arizona “Show me your papers” law came into effect.  In 2011, Oscar came out of the shadows after attending an immigrant youth assembly in Estes Park, Colorado, which motivated him to volunteer with an immigrant rights group to fight against injustices happening in his community.

Oscar has been politically active, advocating for DACA in 2012, as well as ASSET in-state tuition and the TRUST Act in 2013.  Because of ASSET and DACA, Oscar has been able to pursue his personal career dreams.  He has worked in the mechanical-electrical engineering field for 5 years and has also worked in social media and strategic communications for non-profit organizations.

In 2013, Oscar shared his undocumented immigrant story publicly as part of a stage presentation called, “Do You Know Who I Am” and was awarded “People Of The Year” by the Boulder Weekly.

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