Jesus is a DREAMer and organizer for the nonprofit organization PACT in San Jose, California. He joined Pangea's board of directors in 2015.
Jesus was born in a small town in Guerrero, Mexico. At the age of four, Jesus' parents, also dreamers, decided to give Jesus a better life and immigrated to the United States. Jesus attended Kindergarten through 12th grade in San Jose, California, and was the first in his family to graduate from high school. Prior to joining PACT-SJ, Jesus worked as a sheet metal worker and volunteered at many community events.
Jesus’ introduction to the greater immigrant justice movement and his desire to stand up for the immigrant community came after he was deported in 2008 and then again detained by ICE years later for returning to the United States. In 2012, Jesus spent three months in immigration detention solely because he was born in Mexico and had never been afforded a process to live in the United States with lawful documents.
Upon his release from detention, Jesus began to speak up for those who are afraid to come out of the shadows. He regularly advocates for immigrant rights on radio, television, and other media outlets. In early 2014, Jesus was granted DACA and continues speak on immigrant rights and detention issues. He often leads discussions and attends meetings with elected officials in Washington, D.C. and in the Bay Area. He is also active in building the immigrant rights movement with his community members and other leaders through PACT-San Jose.
Jesus is motivated to advocate for the rights of migrants because of his own experience as an immigrant, deportee, detainee, and DREAMer. This experience, and the daily experiences of his immigrant neighbors, fuels Jesus’ vision to live in a country where the freedom to move and political respect is afforded to all members of our communities.
Jesus decided to join the Board at Pangea because they not only focus on the legal aspect of cases, but also on the power that the community has to impact a difficult case. For Jesus, Pangea stands out from other legal services organizations because they organize and empower the community, and they take on cases that others might reject. Being part of the Pangea family feels like being part of the resistance.