HUMANS OF THE U: CIRIAC ALVAREZ VALLE & YESSENIA SONTAY


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Yessenia Sontay on the left and Ciriac Alvarez Valle on the right.

Valle: “There’s a lot of backlash when you tell your story. When you expose yourself, you also expose your family. Whether we have documentation or not, our lives matter.

Sontay: It’s valid to be scared with the negative stigma surrounding documentation.

Valle: We can’t apply for FAFSA so our education is funded through private scholarships or work. We need DACA and there are a lot of people who want it to go away.

Sontay: I’m so appreciative of DACA, but it’s not enough. I don’t want it to just be me. I want my family to feel safe, too.

Valle: Our families deserve to live without fear of deportation. Most people don’t see it because they don’t live through it. Their lives have never been at stake in this way. It’s not until they finally see a face or a person, they know that the issue becomes real.

Sontay: Just because we don’t have a piece of paper, we shouldn’t feel unsafe. A piece of paper isn’t who you are.”

— U students Ciriac Alvarez Valle, senior and Yessenia Sontay, junior

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.


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