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On House Floor, Leader Nancy Pelosi Shares Story of Vermont Dreamer Juan Conde

February 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Nearly eight hours into her House filibuster demanding that Speaker Ryan bring Dreamer legislation to the House floor for debate, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) read aloud a September 1, 2017 letter to Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) written by Juan Conde, a Dreamer and University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine student.

On September 11, 2017, Welch held a press conference with Mr. Conde, UVM President Tom Sullivan, and other medical students highlighting Mr. Conde’s story and the need to provide Dreamers like him with a path to citizenship.

The text of the letter read by Pelosi to the full House of Representatives follows.  

Dear Congressman Welch,

I am writing to you to tell you my story about DACA in the hope that you and your colleagues can come up with a legislative solution to this issue. I am one of the "Dreamer kids", I have lived most of my life in the US and consider it my home. Throughout my life I have been driven to understand cancer and have dedicated my studies to obtain the training needed to help cancer patients. My mother passed away from cancer and this tragedy made me realize that I wanted to dedicate my life to fighting this disease. This is why I spent a decade of my life in research, first in apoptosis during my M.S., and then in DNA repair of tobacco smoke carcinogenesis for my doctorate studies. I chose science because at that time it was impossible for undocumented students to attend medical school and I wanted to have an impact on a disease that had affected my family. It was difficult to obtain my degrees as an undocumented student but I persisted because I believed in the promise of the American dream. When DACA was announced it transformed my life, suddenly I could be paid for the research I was doing, I could drive, I could be free of the fear of deportation, knowing that all my hard work and dedication would not be meaningless, and that the idea of America and her promise were alive and strong. It also meant that medical schools, including my current school UVM's Larner College of Medicine, changed their policies and gave DACA students a chance to enroll.

I understand that legislation takes time, but if there is anything that you can do to help DACA students, including a discharge petition, please do so. If you do you will have the gratitude of a group of dedicated individuals who wish nothing more than to give back to the only country they have ever known.

Thank you,

Juan Conde

B.S; M.S; PhD Biochemistry and Molecular Bio

Current Medical Student at the University of Vermont