Viridiana Martinez has been an immigrant youth organizer since 2009. Through the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, she was instrumental in efforts that led to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012. Viridiana also infiltrated Broward Transitional Center to expose the injustices faced by immigrant detainees.
In spite of limited funding and resources, she founded the first ever immigrant youth led organization in North Carolina. She has been organizing for years to stop countless deportations across the country. Viridiana believes that directly impacted people must be at the frontlines of any successful campaign. She is currently a DACA recipient.
Marco Saavedra serves as waiter and manager of his family’s acclaimed restaurant, La Morada, in the South Bronx. Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Marco crossed the border at age three to reunite with his family in New York City. While spending a semester at Georgetown University he became involved in immigrant justice & connected with The National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) in 2010. Following graduation from college, he began organizing full time in Ohio. In 2012, he infiltrated the Broward Transitional Center in an organizing campaign by NIYA to expose abuses by ICE and to secure the release of dozens of detainees. The following summer he self-deported to Mexico with the DREAM 9 and re-entered the United States seeking political asylum. His final hearing for that case is this fall. In his free time, he enjoys painting, poetry, & playing with his baby niece.