By JUAN ESCALANTE
(Interviewed by Carolina Valdivia)
Juan Escalante was born in Caracas, Venezuela. His parents brought Juan to the United States at the age of 11, in the year 2000. Due to political turmoil, and a surge in violence to which Juan and his family were exposed to, his parents decided to leave everything they owned, and worked hard for, to give his brothers and Juan a better life. Juan’s family obtained an L1 visa, and were able to secure some documentation prior to their lawyer defaulting on their case. USCIS shut down their case, without appeal, because of paperwork errors their lawyer made. They have been undocumented since 2006.
Juan is currently a part-time Masters student at Florida State University’s Askew School of Public Administration and Public Policy. He has a Bachelors of Science in Political Science and International Affairs. Juan also got an Associates Degree at Broward Community College, now known as Broward College. Juan wants to be a policy analyst, or consultant for either a government agency or a non-profit he could support. More and more he is discovering that immigration policy will be his specific area of interest.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give other undocumented students considering/applying to graduate school? Call the school you wish to apply to. I don’t mean call once, get a generic answer, and move along. Call as many times as you can, ask for different people, ask them all the questions you need to ask. Tweet and Facebook the school.
Often times, I see students who get discouraged because they face roadblocks by school personnel who do not have the proper knowledge on immigration related issues, hence, why they default on shutting down your inquiries. Someone in the Admissions office for the department you are applying to has the answers, it is just a matter of knocking on the right door.
Oh, and take your passport to the GRE test site. I know this is off topic, but it will save you a lot of trouble. Again, take your passport to the GRE test site! Even if you have received DACA.