*Lionsroarnow.com decided to redact the author’s name to protect his/her privacy.
September 5th, President Donald Trump decided to end the DACA program, ending the dreams of many immigrants. Immigrants that are your neighbors, your students, your peers, your friends, immigrants that are, as Barack Obama once said, “American in every way except on paper.” Immigrants like me.
Imagine if you grew up in a place thinking you belonged, only to find out that certain people didn’t want you there. Imagine that all those goals and plans were turned down because the country you called home decided you didn’t deserve a chance to be somebody. These are thoughts that I have everyday.
I grew up thinking that I would eventually be able to drive when I was 16, get a job while I was in high school, and apply to the college of my dreams, just like any other kid.
As I grew older, I started to realize that I would not be able to do all these things. It hit me when I started high school, because as I saw my friends getting their driving permits, getting their very first jobs, and starting to think about possible colleges they could go to, all I saw was opportunities that would never be for me. Even though I had worked hard all my life, with my good grades and many awards, it would all be for nothing. All because of my undocumented status.
Undocumented children don’t get to live the average American teenager life. Instead, we have to live our lives in fear. Fear of coming home to find out that our parents have been deported. Fear of being deported and sent to a country we have never really called home and of which we have no knowledge.
Deportation is a scary thing and often happens because someone got pulled over based on their looks, but deportation can also happen because someone tried applying for a job, or even college, and this causes more fear. The biggest fear of all, that I have, is being seen differently by others because of where I come from.
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but to the undocumented children called DREAMERS, it meant so much more than that. It meant hope.
It is a common misunderstanding that anybody who applies for DACA receives it immediately. There are many steps to it, and they all take a while to get processed and sent in for consideration. There are background checks, and these can take up to a year to get done. However, once it was all done, it was well worth the wait.
DACA not only provided a work permit, and protection from deportation, but it also provided a chance of a better future. With these very simple things, DREAMERS were finally allowed to obtain their license, apply to college, and get a job, and all the paperwork and waiting was finally worth it.
These milestones are often overlooked and taken for granted from someone who has access to them, but I dream everyday of experiencing them.
Although I never got the chance to apply for DACA , due to my family’s fear of possible deportation, I know that something better is yet to come. This is not the end, and I will keep fighting until a good decision can be reached about my future and the other 800,000 DACA recipients, because we all deserve a better future. We will fight until we feel we can be seen by others the way we see ourselves, as Americans.