Art student eagerly awaits pandemic relief fund


TEXAS – Oscar Alejandro Escamilla Alanis can be described by one word – artist. This is who he is across many different avenues.

“I never really wanted to do it until my teacher led me to them, so I was illegal at the time. I didn’t have any papers or anything, ”Alanis said. “It was like, ‘You should do art …’ You’re good at that stuff.”

Alanis says it can be difficult to be successful as an artist, but he believes he needs to overcome more obstacles, especially given the impact of the Trump administration.

“I mean it all seemed so insecure. Everything felt like it was falling apart. Everything I had built in the past three years … was gone, ”said Alanis.

Oscar Alanis talks to other artists on the first Friday. (Spectrum News 1)

Alanis is a DACA recipient and says uncertainty escalated during the pandemic when he lost his job.

“It was horrible. It was probably the hardest time of my life, obviously. My friends get these stimulus checks. They all make this money. They claim unemployment,” Alanis said.

However, Alanis’ application for unemployment was denied and he was denied access to stimulus checks due to his immigration status. He admitted he went through a little depression because he didn’t know how he would finance his dreams.

“If you don’t have the money, you can’t convince that friend to want your photos posted somewhere, that editor or that press release that you were looking for,” Alanis said.

Alanis heard promising news from the White House when President Joe Biden’s administration announced it would allow undocumented students access to the pandemic relief fund.

“The stimulus can help me with the rent, or just the monthly food or gasoline,” Alanis added.

Or he can use it to pay the $ 500 fee to renew his DACA. But Oscar says that no matter what he uses his raise money for, it will allow him to focus on his art and take it to the next level.


Kayleen C. Rice