The Dreamers

I wanted to introduce you to Dr. Gerardo Mancilla but instead, he wanted to discuss the MISOL program. He is part of the steering committee for MISOL along with Erika Rosales, Yesenia Villalpando-Torres, and Dr. Donna Vukelich-Selva. 

Mexico International Study Opportunity for Learning (MISOL)

The Mexico International Study Opportunity for Learning (MISOL) program will provide a study abroad opportunity for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries to attend an education program at the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in México City. Participants will engage in cultural, history, identity, and language programming. Furthermore, participants will be able to reconnect with their families and conduct ethnographic research on their family migration. DACA beneficiaries arrived in the U.S as children and many have not returned to their home country since their arrival. MISOL is housed in the Center for DREAMers & The UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies, in partnership with UNAM.

This program is open to DACA beneficiaries and community members in Dane County who are 18 years of age or older. MISOL participants will petition for Advance Parole, a U.S. Citizenship, and Immigration Services (USCIS) re-entry permit that allows DACA recipients to travel internationally and return to the US.

The first cohort of participants has been selected and the first program will take place between mid-December 2022 and mid-January 2023. The current application for this cohort is currently closed. However, individuals who are interested in future programs can fill out the MISOL interest form on the website

If you would like to support the MISOL program, you can donate to The Center for DREAMers

About Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA:

According to CAP, as of the end of 2021, "Nearly 600,000 DACA recipients live across the United States, raise 300,000 U.S.-citizen children, and pay $9.4 billion in taxes each year"

Additional, here are highlights of their yearly contributions to the USA economy:

  • $6.2 billion in federal taxes 

  • $3.3 billion in state and local taxes

  • $25.3 billion in spending power (including large purchases such as cars)

  • $760 million in mortgage payments

  • $2.5 billion in rental payments

Many DACA recipients work in jobs that are deemed essential (health care, education & food services):

  • 34,000 health care workers providing patient care 

  • 11,000 individuals working in health care facility maintenance 

  • 20,000 educators

  • 100,000 working in the food supply chain

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has posted a final rule for public review, the ruling goes into effect at the end of this month (10/31/2022).  

The ruling refers to some of the statistics above and states that:

"Because of these contributions, the communities of DACA recipients--who reside in all 50 States and the District of Columbia--have grown to rely on the economic contributions this policy facilitates. In sum, despite the express limitations in the Napolitano Memorandum, over the 10 years in which the DACA policy has been in effect, the good faith investments recipients have made in both themselves and their communities, and the investments that their communities have made in them, have been, in the Department's judgment, substantial."

However, this ruling does not create a pathway to U.S. citizenship for DACA recipients, it only creates a deferred action by not prioritizing removal.  This is not good enough for a program proven to have yielded overwhelmingly positive results for the recipients and the rest of us who benefit from their contributions.

For more about the ruling click here

About Dr. Gerardo Mancilla

We can find Dr. Mancilla's educational accomplishments on the Edgewood College faculty page: "Gerardo Mancilla is an Associate Professor of Education for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction, M.S. in Counseling Psychology, and Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to working at Edgewood College, Gerardo was working for the Madison Metropolitan School District where he was a Dual Language Immersion teacher. Gerardo's research interests include Critical Race Theory, LatCrit, the school-to-prison pipeline, bilingual education, and immigration. Gerardo has also been active in the Madison community for many years."

Among his friends and those touched by his commitment to the community, he is known as "Lalo"!

"Lalo has been an advocate for the Latinx and immigrant community since I have known him. I began working with Lalo during the Latino Youth Summit, a culturally relevant conference that exposes Latinx middle schoolers to college and different career pathways through fun hands-on workshops. Lalo was an integral part of the Latino Youth Summit inception. Lalo is also on the board for the Friends of Sanchez Scholars - a high school and college scholarship program, the president for the Kind Lesli Ann Ambassadors, and host of the Educators and Immigration podcast, among other things." - Charlyn C.

"Lalo's personal and professional accomplishments are many but what makes him stand out is his desire to lift others. He cares about what people go through and uses that to drive his many endeavors without seeking recognition for his efforts. Lalo is a leader from the heart who aligns his actions to his values and he has had a positive influence on so many people. If you know him, in whatever capacity that is, you know he is inspiring, caring and one of the best people you know." - Jannet A.


Prior Hispanic Heritage Month posts can be found here


Was this page helpful to you?
Alder Yannette Figueroa Cole

Alder Yannette Figueroa Cole

District 10, Council Vice President
Contact Alder Figueroa Cole