“Being undocumented and experiencing the struggle for receiving some type of benefit or relief, which is what DACA has meant to me –– being able to benefit from the rewards of that advocacy that people before me participated in –– makes me want to do the same for others, and want to fight for immigration reform.
I started working with CIRC as a canvasser, and then a citizenship fellow, and I learned a ton about the application, the processes. It helped me really understand what was deterring people from naturalizing, what their concerns were, what their needs were…it was very meaningful to me. It felt great to be able to do that work.
Today I called someone, and they told me, “Yes, I’m a citizen now and I’m registered to vote.”
Both policy and direct impact work are very important to me, because one feeds the other. We’re supporting people on a process like naturalizing, which can be long and stressful, helping people get over this hurdle so they’re ready to vote and make their opinions and voices heard, to be civically engaged in more ways. So it’s very exciting, knowing that we were able to achieve our mission, at least for that one person.
And working with people on a one on one basis and being able to support them on a process like naturalizing, you know that that’s going to contribute to policy because for the most part, they’ll be voting and being civically engaged, and so that will hopefully impact policies and make them more immigrant friendly, because people will be voting who have gone through the immigrant experience. And hopefully they will vote and make sure that future immigrants are also benefiting from policy. So I see it as a more holistic thing, the benefit of being able to work with people one on one and being able to contribute to their experience but also knowing that they’ll make an impact at a greater level. ” — Ariadma Seguro, on her last day after working as a canvasser and more recently Legal Services Fellow
This post is part of our Staff Spotlight series, highlighting some of the amazing people in the CIRC team! Read more spotlights here: http://coloradoimmigrant.org/?s=Humans+of+CIRC