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DREAMer Who Won A Grammy Receives Immigration Permission To Travel With His Band To Mexico

La Santa Cecilia is traveling to Mexico for one of the biggest music festivals in Mexico and Latin America and for the first time band member Jose “Pepe” Carlos is able to join them. He also spoke about their involvement with the Cesar Chavez movie.

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Jose "Pepe" Carlos, a DREAMer and part of the Grammy-winning band La Santa Cecilia, will get to perform with them in Mexico for the first time. He previously told BuzzFeed he hadn't been back in 26 years.


Carlos, 31, is an undocumented immigrant and recipient of President Obama’s deferred action for childhood arrivals, which gave deportation relief to young immigrants brought to the country as children.

"I'm super excited to be going with the band, its been seven years that we’ve been together," Carlos said. "The few times we've gotten invited to Mexico, unfortunately I haven’t gotten to go."

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Carlos said he's ready to get some authentic food he hasn't had in a long time.

"I'm excited to have some tacos, I'm excited to play and excited to see some family members. Everything, everything. Mexico is a beautiful place," he added.

The band will be at the 15th Vive Latino music festival, one of the largest in Mexico and Latin America.

Reached at the airport, Carlos said the band had already seen the Nine Inch Nails who are also going to be performing.


"Heading to #vivelatino this morning....this is a VERY SPECIAL trip for us because PEPE will FINALLY be able to travel to México and play with us!!! DREAM COME TRUE!!!"

Carlos also talked about their involvement with the Cesar Chavez movie, which opens Friday, and the parallels he feels between that movement and the immigration reform movement in the U.S.

"I definitely do see parallels between us and Cesar Chavez," Carlos said of people like him and the band speaking up for immigration reform.

Todd Williamson/Invision for Pantelion / AP

"It's great to have people we can look up to," he said. "In order to have a movement you need to have people as leaders. He was a leader and an inspirational figure."

The band's lead singer Marisoul sang a song for the movie soundtrack, Sólo le pido a dios, (I only ask God), after she was asked by the movie's director Diego Luna.

Before the Los Angeles premiere she took to Instagram to share her journey.

"One of my first jobs was working the concession stand at the Chinese theatre.....I can't believe I'm coming back to sing the title song for today's premier of Cesar Chavez the movie!!"

Besides Luna, the band also met Dolores Huerta, a respected member of the civil rights movement who is depicted in Cesar Chavez as well, and shared kind words with the band.

Todd Williamson/Invision for Pantelion / AP

"Dolores Huerta spoke highly of La Santa Cecilia, she said she's a big fan and admires our contribution to immigration reform," Carlos said.

He said the concert and the movie inspire him and the band to keep pushing on what they're passionate about.

Courtesy Pantelion Films 2013

"It tells us to continue with our thing, immigration reform, and keep on speaking out and raising our voices to have change just like Chavez made his change with the United Farm Workers."

Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at

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