Trembling, as rivers of people flooded her lefts and rights while she scanned the room for her dad in a Greyhound bus port – that is what she was doing – trembling. Leaving behind a world of what could have been to approach a completely different lifestyle and become immersed in a culture that wasn’t her own, and all she could think of was the rumbling of her oversized Rugrat violet-colored rain coat against the child-like soft of her trembling skin.
Lidia Diaz was brought to the United States as a child at the young age of 6. Her initial response to the immediate change of culture, lifestyle, and freezing Nebraska weather was – Mama, ya me quiero regresar a Juarez – (Momma, I want to go back to Juarez). But now, her response to the possibility her whole world changing is – This is my home. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Approximately 800,000 America-raised young professionals have benefited from DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, since the program’s creation 5 years ago. These young professionals are the same ones that were brought to the United States to achieve their family’s aspirations of the “American Dream,” but who now tremble for a different reason As their parents? Put forth the ultimate sacrifice of leaving their own families, in order to give their children a better future than their own- as the aspirations to succeed might crumble?
With the recent climate surrounding the possible DACA termination decision, Lidia’s world, like many other Dreamers’, has been filled with uncertainty and anxiety of where her future might hold. Relocating to Nebraska at a very young age was initially an experience based on change and groeth, but because of DACA, that uncertainty turned into hope – hope for a better future and hope to make her parents’ sacrifice worthwhile.
If the DACA program were to be terminated without a pathway to citizenship, Lidia’s goal-filled future would also come to an end. The feeling of being “stuck” would become too literal, as her and many other’s ability to lawfully be employed would come to a sudden stop. The ability to reach her goals would be threatened and come to a sudden stop. The motivation to remain positive and inspired would be influenced to come to a sudden stop.
Because of her and the other DACA recipients’ continuous administration-based worry, organizations such as Immigrant Legal Center are providing FREE DACA Clinics in Omaha, Scottsbluff, and other area cities to help alleviate this distress. ILC is renewing and completing DACA applications for qualifying individuals, proving education to Dreamers on their specific legal options, and advocating for a fair and proactive solution.
As she puts her best efforts forward to remain positive, hopeful, and tremble-free, Lidia strives to make an ounce of a difference through her work in the ILC marketing department and by speaking out on local and national efforts through the “We are Dreamers” documentary and the national #HereToStay United We Dream social media campaign. She clings to her faith, the never-ending support of her Omaha community, and the words of the founding fathers as in the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”