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“American DREAMers”: NYT Lifts Up Personal Stories From DACA Recipients

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A new interactive feature from the New York Times lifts up the stories of DREAMers who are facing uncertain futures following Donald Trump’s election. Among the dozens of personal accounts — readers are asked to submit and share their own as well — is Deyanira, a Texas DREAMer who was “euphoric” following the announcement of DACA back in 2012. Without the program, she writes, she fears a life where she’ll “have to return to the shadows and live life in constant fear.”

Although being undocumented has been my toughest struggle here in the United States, it has shaped me to highly appreciate education and encourage my younger siblings to excel in their studies in order to pursue a career.

I was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. My parents decided early on that they wanted their children to grow up in better environments than the ones they grew up in. They migrated to the United States of America when I was very young so that they could work endlessly and send money back home to Mexico. At the age of five, I migrated along with my sister. I was excited about my family being united once again despite the adversity we face.

The hardships range from medical situations to owning a driver’s license. The cost of visiting a clinic is tremendously overwhelming due to the fact that we do not have the documents required for a medical insurance plan. My parents, like many others throughout the US, risk so much by pursuing the American Dream every day.

On August 2012, President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. My sister and I applied and received our work permits. My soul was euphoric with the joy of being legal in this country but then I discovered that this valuable permit would only help me work legally but would not grant me permanent residence. I qualified for scholarships like the Gates Millennium Scholarship, but I would not even be considered because of my status. I looked high and low for any scholarship that would accept undocumented students and made sure to apply because they were few and far between. Regardless of not being a permanent resident or citizen, I still made my dream of attending The University of Texas; majoring in Neuroscience a reality. I consider myself blessed and hope that others can learn from my struggles. I am involved in UT University Leadership Initiative, an organization that advocates for immigrant rights and helps the community fight injustices.  Despite DACA only allowing temporary relief to me, I appreciate it because it removed the burden of my status from me and allowed me to work and contribute to society. If DACA were removed, we would have to return to the shadows and live life in constant fear.