Armando Reyes Zapata: DACA needs permanent solution |

Armando Reyes Zapata: DACA needs permanent solution

If Congress does not take action to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — DACA — program recipients and Temporary Protected Status — TPS — holders, Colorado will suffer.

Within Colorado, nearly one in 10 residents are immigrants who pay an estimated $34 million in annual state and local taxes. We contribute to many sectors of the economy and are students alongside other Coloradoans.

I was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when I was just 4 years old and was raised in Olathe. The DACA program has allowed me to apply for temporary protections, pay a fee and undergo a thorough background check in order to stay here.

I’m thankful for the opportunities it has afforded me, including allowing me to graduate from high school and now pursue a degree in restaurant and culinary management at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, with the hopes of becoming the head chef of my own restaurant one day.

This would not be possible without DACA, which has allowed me to receive an education, further my dreams and contribute to our state.

To advocate for a permanent solution to this temporary program, this month, I went to D.C. with other Colorado Dreamers and TPS holders to tell Congress how important this issue is. I hope they listened to what I had to say and seriously consider passing the Dream and Promise Act, which was introduced last week and offers us a pathway to citizenship.

Armando Reyes Zapata

Steamboat Springs

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