Meet GUSTAVO MARTINEZ _____ “Imagine making a dream come true and suddenly have it taken away with no warning or reason behind it. All my life I lived with fear of not being able to provide for my family, or even myself. Growing up I knew I had a disadvantage but that only motivated me. I’ve always liked school –going to school was always my dream. Thanks to DACA things are good– I have a degree, my own apartment, and a good job as a Loan Officer helping Spanish-speaking individuals without social security numbers achieve their financial goals.
When the decision to end DACA was made, and with it hundreds of thousands of dreams, I remember feeling betrayed, hopeless, and distraught. My mom told me how proud she was of me and reminded me that I had been in this position before. With tears in my eyes, I came to terms with the news and knew the fight was not over. Without DACA I may once again have to hide in the shadows, but I have hope that we can find a permanent solution." _____________________________ It is estimated that 11,000 Oregonians will have to leave the country if Congress can’t come to some kind of agreement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Brought here as small children, these young adults are now vibrant member of our communities. I had the opportunity to photograph 5 Dreamers who courageously stepped forward to tell their stories with hopes that people will gain a greater awareness of what we stand to lose in our communities if unjust immigration policies are allowed to continue.
DREAMER of OREGON was made in collaboration with @bienestaror, a local non-profit that assists immigrant farmworkers in the surrounding Portland area, and is on view in the atrium at Pacific University Hillsboro Campus. It moves to the Forest Grove campus for an April 9 opening and will travel to Portland in late April.
Portrait by @hollyandres for @bienestaror
Partners: @pacificu #pointwestcreditunion#harbourtonfoundation @esperanzaspalding @p_n_c_a @portlandcommcollege @haciendacdc @jeff_proctor_art @victormaldonadodailypractice