‘To be brave is to speak in spite of fear’: Meet the 22-year-old fighting for immigration rights

For this first episode of In The Know: Next Gen, we met with Sara Mora, who is quickly becoming a major influence and mouthpiece for her generation through her immigration activism and work for undocumented communities.

Mora was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, and immigrated with her parents to the U.S. when she was 3. She said she never envisioned that she’d become the activist she is today, but she started to get involved when she was in high school and the issues that intertwined with being undocumented were impossible to ignore.

“It wasn’t really trendy when I was growing up, and the community I was growing up in,” Mora told In The Know. “We did it because there was a lot of pain and a lot of sadness in our classmates’ lives and our own lives.”

It was after high school, when Mora had the chance to interview the president of Costa Rica, that she realized public officials weren’t the definite answer to the issues.

“I took the chance to ask him about DACA, and the president said, ‘I actually do not know what DACA is.'”

When Trump called to rescind DACA in 2017, it was a turning point for Mora and everyone around her.

“It was such a national reaction from my community — it was the angriest I’ve ever been in my life,” she said. “There’s too much going on on the ground; as young people, we need to find out what we’re going to do next.”

Mora decided to share her own story, and with the positive feedback she got from other undocumented people, she realized that she could really make a difference with her voice. She uses media to create campaigns and build up a channel of connections between people who want to really make a change, not just talk about it.

A big driving force behind why she’s so driven in her activism is that she wants to take the pressure off of future generations of young people who might be facing a situation similar to the one she’s in.

“To be undocumented isn’t one experience. To be undocumented is to have to navigate a system that is consistently telling you to prove yourself to exist in the country.”

According to Mora, there are many ways for young people to get involved and to have their voices heard — especially when it comes to circumstances that seem as large and insurmountable as immigration activism. It can definitely be scary and overwhelming, but Mora knows it’s worth it.

“To be brave is to speak in spite of fear,” she said.

Watch the full In The Know: Next Gen profile above for the full interview with Sara Mora.

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