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With much foresight to the oncoming political violence, Juan Escalante’s parents fled Venezuela in 2000, with Juan and his two brothers in tow, for the United States. In 2006, an immigration attorney mishandled the Escalante’s case, and they lost status. After six years of legal fees and paying taxes, the Escalantes were unable to gain legal status.
By the time President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, Juan had graduated from Florida State University with a political science degree, fought (and lost) two legislative fights in support of the Dream Act, and helped organize thousands of Dreamers from all across the country. Since 2013, Juan and his brothers have been protected from deportation under DACA.
With DACA, Juan was able to return to FSU for a Master’s degree in public administration and get a job in immigration advocacy, as the Digital Campaigns Manager for America’s Voice. Juan is a Tallahassee resident and a coffee fanatic.