The Evolved Man of the Week: Nelson Martinez de los Santos

Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s “Evolved Man of the Week” profile. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved person, famous and non-famous individual alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to immigrants rights activists, co-chair of the Latin American Student Organization, and co-director of social justice for his college’s student government association at College of Holy Cross, Nelson Martinez de los Santos.

In 2001, when he was one, his parents arrived in the United States with their four children. Back home in Saltillo, Mexico, drug cartels ruled the city, and violence was rising. At the time, his mom was a nurse, and his dad owned a semi-truck-driving company. They obtained visas, drove into the U. S. through Eagle Pass, Texas, and later moved to Phoenix.

In exchange for their safety, they gave up different freedoms: the ability to travel and the right to vote. And their fear grew as they watched state policy threaten families like theirs. Between 2010 and 2016, Arizona’s anti-immigration law allowed cops to stop vehicles and demand proof of documented status. Lack of proof could result in a misdemeanor and potential deportation.

Martinez de los Santos received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status in 2016. Still, he says the past four years haven’t been easy on him. Here is Martinez de los Santos in his own words:

“I am just hopeful that the people of this country can see the humanity in this program,” … “As for my future, the DACA program is uncertain, but that is not going to stop me or anyone else in the DACA program in achieving what our parents came here to give us — that immigrant dream.”

We at the Evolving Man Project wish Martinez de los Santos continued success as he paves the way for a younger generation of leaders who will move this nation to be a more fair and just one. Today we honor Nelson Martinez de los Santos as our Evolved Man of the Week. 

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