Blog, Membership Spotlight

DREAMer, Student, & Small Business Owner: How DACA allowed an entrepreneur to make a life for himself in America

A profile on Gabriel Lopez, small business owner, and DACA recipient.

Gabriel Lopez is a 22-year-old entrepreneur and community advocate who has called the United States home since he was five years old. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program paved the way for Gabriel to work legally and attend college. He worked two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet and pay for college; however, it wasn’t enough to help support his family and afford college. That didn’t discourage him, rather it challenged him to create his own business his freshman year of college called, Lopez’s Landscaping.

“Rather than encountering security through my career, I face insecurity and what could be the end of a path that took many years to pave.”- Gabriel Lopez, DACA recipient & small business owner

Lopez’s Landscaping is a small business that focuses on landscaping, design, and maintenance for both commercial and residential properties. The income from Lopez’s Landscaping allowed Gabriel to pay for his university tuition, support his family, and give back to his community. Now, after he has established a business that creates jobs and helps his community, Gabriel finds himself in a situation that threatens his dreams and legal status here in the United States. Without Congress passing a legislative solution for DACA, Gabriel will be forced to either leave the country in the summer of 2019 or put him back in the shadows of an undocumented person living in the U.S., with no rights to work legally or attend school—forcing him to live in constant fear.

The will of my immigrant spirit to impact my community bychanging lives through volunteer work and through my business has kept me on my feet.” – Gabriel Lopez, DACA recipient & small business owner 

Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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