When Googling Eric Cantor and Yanet Limon-Amado, articles in Politico and the Washington Post show an 18-year-old Limon-Amado speaking out against the then House of Representatives majority leader, who was known for referring to undocumented immigrants as illegal aliens. This would be one of the first of many times the recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals would stand up in front of a crowd and speak for immigration reform.
She’s since been at the front lines of nearly every immigration rally in Richmond, speaking to U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine about immigration, and urging House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox to reconsider in-state eligibility for undocumented students. One of her organizations preaches inclusivity.
Started by four undocumented women who study at Virginia Commonwealth University, UndocuRams fosters understanding on how to navigate the higher education system as an undocumented student. After graduating from high school, Limon-Amado says there wasn’t any support or resources.
“It’s been a really, really lonely road,” she says. “There’s so much. There’s so much that needs to be done. I try to keep that in mind as much as I can.”
The organization’s strategies include growing a scholarship fund, speaking with administrators on safety measures for undocumented students, and educating and training staff on being an ally and advocating for in-state tuition.
Limon-Amado hopes to pursue a career in political advocacy after graduating in December, but when asked about her next step, she pauses.
“I wish I could answer that question. I don’t know if that’s a reality for me,” she says, referring to how her DACA is status in Congress’ hands. “But if I can do something, then I will do something.”Back to the 2019 Top 40 Under 40