Undocumedia created to support DREAMers

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- "I've been in the country since I was nine months old. Originally from Michoacan, Mexico. This year marks 25 years, going on 26 years that I've been in the country and I'm still undocumented."

Ivan Ceja is a DACA beneficiary and remembers being paralyzed by fear.

"I know what it's like to be told your voice doesn't matter for the simple fact that you don't have papers. When I turned 17, that's when I came out of the shadows. I said I'm going to come out as undocumented, unafraid because I no longer want that shadow of fear, of 'We're going to threaten you with telling ICE that you're undocumented,'" Ceja said.

An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants are living and working in the U.S. while the Trump administration enforces tougher immigration policies and halts programs that benefit this group.

We met two L.A. locals, Justino Mora and Ivan Ceja, who've taken their political activism into the digital space. In 2012, they co-founded "Undocumedia," an organization that advocates for DREAMers and undocumented groups. Since then, it's become one of the biggest and fastest-growing online platforms.

Undocumedia gives followers several digital spaces to express themselves and serves in many ways as a support group for those living in the shadows of society because of their legal status in the U.S.

Both Mora and Ceja came the United States as children. Ceja's parents brought him when he was only nine months old, while Mora arrived in the U.S. at 11 years old. The young men have lived all of their adult life in Los Angeles, which they call home.

In 2012, they both received work permits under then-President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA.

They hope that by sharing their personal life stories people will be encouraged to not give up and understand they are not alone. The two college graduates say it's their parents' sacrifice, along with the hardships, that pushed them to become activists.
For Mora, it was his mother who planted a meaningful seed in his life.

"She told us education is the key to success, and don't forget about your community, don't forget about your roots," he said.

He graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in political science. It was then during college that he realized and understood the power of his voice and decided to silence fear -- taking on a public role on immigration. His activism even led him to the White House.

In late 2017, the Trump administration announced DACA would be phased out. Both Mora and Ceja's future in the U.S. is uncertain, but they remain hopeful.

On Jan. 13, USCIS announced that due to a federal court order, it resumed receiving requests for DACA renewals. Mora and Ceja may be able to renew their work permits.

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