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DACA Recipients Are Americans, One DREAMER’s Story

Advocacy | August 7, 2020

On the day of the Supreme Court decision on DACA, I sat on my couch staring at my computer waiting to see what was posted on the SCOTUS page. I had sat down and stared at my computer every week for the last months, and nothing would happen until June 18, 2020.

I saw the link pop up and I started tearing up because I had a feeling that it was a negative decision. I then clicked on the link, but it was more than 70 pages. I was so anxious and knew I could not calmly read them. So, I went on Twitter and that is when I saw the decision the Supreme Court made was in favor of DACA­‑I started crying. My little sister was across the room and asked if I was OK. I just sat there and kept crying, trying to take it all in. I was so relieved the Supreme Courts’ decision was a positive decision. DACA has given my family and I a sense of relief, but my life remains in limbo. DACA was only introduced as an executive action which means it can be taken away any minute.

Imagine not knowing what your future holds, not knowing if you will be able to visit your grandparents one last time before they are gone. Imagine not knowing if you will be able to continue working or going to school. These are just a few of the many experiences DACA recipients face.

I was asked how this decision benefited DACA recipients, but the reality is, it does not just benefit DACA recipients. DACA benefits YOU! DACA recipients are your student’s teachers, they are your doctors, nurses, lawyers, social workers and more. You may think DACA does not impact you directly but, in reality it does.

I renewed my DACA before the decision, I have two more years with my work permit but after that I do not know what will happen. If you know me, you know that I am a huge planner‑I like to plan my months, my weeks and my days. But with DACA I have learned that I can’t plan too ahead in advance because I don’t know if I will be given the opportunity to  continue living here and continue giving back to the country that has provided many opportunities for me.

For many DACA recipients this is the only country they know, they have grown up here, have graduated from school, have jobs here and have their families here. During the pandemic, many DACA recipients have also been on the front lines as essential workers.

Unfortunately, there is no line or application we can submit in order to obtain our citizenship. Our immigration system has a limited way DACA recipients may apply for citizenship and the immigration laws are so outdated. We need to continue to push congress to pass legislation for these Americans because DACA recipients are Americans in every way except paper.

 

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