When you go out to vote this November, Yonny wants you to remember him, because his future here could very well depend on it. He shares his story in a video from The Love Vote, a campaign urging those of us who can vote, to vote for those—like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients—who can’t.
Yonny first came to the United States as an unaccompanied minor and when he got older, started to work in construction. He soon “learned about everything … carpentry, floors, drywall, texture, painting”—all skills he put into use when he was able to apply for DACA protections and start Sarmioza Painting.
“I became my own boss and opened by own business,” he said. “I got permits and created my company, and little by little, it grew.” DACA goes beyond the quintessential American success story, with one survey this year indicating that “DACA recipients are outpacing the general population in terms of business creation.” But that would change if the Trump administration is successful in its effort to kill the program in the courts.
Without permanent legislation, hundreds of thousands of young people like Yonny would lose their work—and business—permits. ”If they take away my DACA,” he continued, “my life would change. I’d go backwards. The opportunities that I see for my future would be cut. I’d have to go back to the position I was in before and not pursue what I really want to be doing.”
Yonny and many others have done what was asked of them by the federal government. They handed over their information, passed their background checks, paid their fees, they contribute, all with a promise they could keep living and working here, in the only country they’ve ever known as home. They and their families deserve certainty. They deserve permanent protections.
“To everyone who can vote I say: in the next election think about what’s best for you,” Yonny continues, “and also think of others who are part of your society. See people’s sacrifices.”
Watch Yonny’s video below (we’ll continue sharing more of these stories here). THEN GET OUT THE VOTE for young Americans-in-waiting like him. Just click here, enter your zip code, choose the event that works best for you, and RSVP to attend.