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DACA Recipient Hopes Biden Goes 'Beyond Proposals And Promises' On Immigration04:33
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Greisa Martinez Rosas speaks during a Remembrance and Celebration of the Life & Enduring Legacy of Robert F. Kennedy event taking place at Arlington National Cemetery on June 6, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia.  (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for RFK Human Rights  )
Greisa Martinez Rosas speaks during a Remembrance and Celebration of the Life & Enduring Legacy of Robert F. Kennedy event taking place at Arlington National Cemetery on June 6, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia. (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for RFK Human Rights )

For Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient Greisa Martinez Rosas, the end of the Trump administration offers a moment of respite.

President Joe Biden started rolling back many of the Trump administration’s immigration policies on his first day in office, including a proposed bill that would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants.

The Biden administration’s actions reflect the power of immigrants, Martinez Rosas says, and she’s eager to work for the next six months to make the promises of the administration a reality.

“I'm taking a moment to take a deep breath in and out and just be present and how important this week has been for all of us,” says Martinez Rosas, the deputy executive director for United We Dream.

The Biden presidency and his proposed bill mark an important moment for Martinez Rosas — a chance to celebrate after four years of Trump’s presidency and his administration.

“There were moments where I thought that I might not make it,” she says.

At age 7, Martinez Rosas moved to the United States with her parents and younger sister. For the past four years, she’s worked to get the country to recognize her humanity.

She says she was inspired to start her organizing journey after she and her family were called aliens and “other words that are not safe for NPR.”

Biden’s proposed bill would change the word “alien” to “non-citizen” in immigration laws. Martinez Rosas says this change is an important symbol and part of a healing journey.

With Alejandro Mayorkas set to be the first Latino and immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security, Martinez Rosas is hoping he and the Biden administration don’t lead with detention and deportation as the Trump administration did, but instead prioritize the safety and healing of immigrant communities.

“I think that we are ready to move beyond proposals and promises, and ensuring that we have this Congress pass this legislation that makes change for millions of people's lives,” Martinez Rosas says. “And I'm ready to get to work.”


Ciku Theuri produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Tinku RayJeannette Jones adapted it for the web.

This segment aired on January 22, 2021.

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