Santa Fe South Express

The Stories of Dreamers

Jennifer Hernandez, Reporter

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The Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was created in 2012 by Barack Obama during his presidency. It was created to protect undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States as children, therefore not coming into the U.S illegally by choice. Almost 790,000 immigrants have been able to get work permits and have been protected from deportation because of DACA.

The requirements to have been eligible for DACA, immigrants must have been in the U.S before 2007. They had to be 15 or younger when entering the U.S but younger than 31 years of age. In addition to this, they had to have a clean criminal record, be enrolled in high school or have graduated. Another option would be having their GED certificate or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.

The application is an extensive process and could also require hiring a lawyer. The process includes collecting documents as evidence of your identity, proof you came to the U.S before the age of 16, proof of student status, and etc. This also includes a $495 fee. This covers the biometrics fee and the work authorization document fee.

When Donald Trump became a candidate for president in 2016, one of his goals was to end DACA. Although post-election, he seemed to have a different perspective of it. In a interview with Time magazine, Trump said he wanted to create something for Dreamers that would make the people “happy and proud.” September 5th of 2017 is when Trump revoke the Dream Act. This would affect every person who benefited from DACA. After this date, they would reject any new applications. For those individuals who already profited from DACA and whose protection would expire by March 5, 2018 would have to apply for renewal by October 5, 2018. This would guarantee them 2 more years of safety.

On January 9th, a federal judge in California blocked Trump’s attempt to rescind DACA. This ordered Trump to resume DACA renewals. On January 16th, the U.S Justice Department indicated the U.S Supreme Court would review the order of the federal judge to continue accepting DACA applications. On the 20th, the Democrats demanded a solution of the Dreamers. In exchange they would vote for another bill that would keep the government running. When the Senate came up with a deal for Dreamers. Numerous Democrats declined the deal. On the 22nd, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said if there was no agreement by February 8th this would result in the Senate would proceed to consider DACA-related legislation.

Until there is a permanent solution Dreamers will continue to fight for a Clean Dream Act! Below are the stories of various Dreamers.

The Stories of Dreamers 

“Growing up I never really thought being undocumented would be very hard until I applied for DACA. DACA had given me so many opportunities. For example, I have been able to work and help my parents out with some of the bills. I now know that I could go to college and have a better future like I planned. I can now become a nurse like I’ve always dreamed of. A few years ago, I didn’t know what I was going to do after high school. Was I going to be able to work? Or have a higher education? DACA was able to answer these questions for me. I was going to have a real future this is why I fight for a Clean Dream Act.”

-Jimena Rangel

“DACA has helped me in many ways. It helped me get a job. This was something really important to me because I wanted to help pay bills. My mom hasn’t struggled as much because of my help. It also helped me be able to apply to college and qualify for a few scholarships. I can now go to school and become whatever I desire. Another thing it has helped me with is being able to get a driver’s license. I am now able to drive without the fear of a cop stopping me and getting put in jail.”

-Mariana Rodriguez

“I was 2 years old when I came to the U.S. The United States has been the only home I know. Although, yes I am proud to be a Hispanic from Delicias Chihuahua, Mexico, but I also considered myself an American. Even though most would refer to me as an immigrant or illegal alien.I never realized what being undocumented was until around middle school. When others traveled out of the country during breaks I was not able to. Up until high school, being undocumented did not affect me as much. Senior year was when it impacted me the most. While my friends and classmates looked at what college the would like to go to, I looked at what colleges I could afford. Since I was not from here I couldn’t get financial aid. DACA made it possible for me to get a job. This way I could pay my college tuition. I was also able to apply scholarships which has helped me in a huge way. I could work my butt off and work hard but to others I was still looked as an immigrant, as an illegal alien. I fight for a Clean Dream Act. Not just for me but for everyone who has a dream. A dream to become someone in life. Our dreams matter too.”

-Anonymous

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The Stories of Dreamers