A beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), 26 year-old Dreamer Aldo understands the importance of his work as a paramedic in Fort Myers, Florida.
“It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation that we have going on,” he told The New York Times partway through a 48-hour shift.
Though not an American by birth, Aldo, who came to the United States at age 12 from Mexico, is deeply invested in serving and caring for his local community.
“[Dreamers] are part of the work force,” he said. “A great amount of us are considered essential — janitors, workers in grocery stores, people like myself, nurses, doctors. All of us are working toward protecting the public. If we are unable to do that, we will have an even harder time trying to deal with this pandemic.”
Aldo is among around 27,000 other Dreamers working in health care, many of whom have worked through the coronavirus pandemic despite the dangers. These dangers are not lost on Aldo.
“The Fort Myers population is very old,” he said. “They have pre-existing conditions that make them more at risk because of the virus. And we have had to put some of our paramedics and emergency medical technicians into quarantine, so that creates a lack of personnel.”
For that reason, he believes it all the more important that the Supreme Court side with Dreamers and allow them to remain in the United States.
“It’s imperative that the Supreme Court take account of conditions that did not exist back in November,” he said. “It seems nonsensical to invite even more chaos into an already chaotic time.”