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Laura Garcia
DACA Recipient from Mexico
Oil on canvas 40” x 30”

Laura Garcia’s parents fled crime in Mexico City for a safe, new life in New York State where they worked in factories for two years before sending for 8-year-old Laura and her younger brother. They lacked the time and money needed to get documents. The children left the warmth of their grandparents’ tiny village to arrive without coats in the freezing fall temperatures of Newburgh. But the school welcomed newcomers with an English as a Second Language program. Laura excelled, showing talent for public speaking and leadership in school, churches, and youth groups. Voted VP of her senior class, she was denied an application to community college because she lacked a Social Security number. The DACA program allowed her to work for the YWCA and win a scholarship to college. Her father, deported after a fender-bender accident, and her mother are in Mexico caring for her brother, who developed ALS - known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Laura’s earnings support the entire family. She’s terrified that the DACA program will end and she will be deported before she can finish her degree. Far more American than Mexican, she says, “We will all starve if that happens."

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