This Sunday marks the second anniversary of when President Obama announced his deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program. In honor of DACA — and in order to remind people why we need similar relief for all immigrants who qualify for the Senate immigration bill — we’re collecting stories from DREAMers about how DACA has changed their lives and helped their communities.
Today’s story is from Nilvia, a DREAMer from Iowa.
How has DACA helped you or someone you know?
20 years of my life have been lived in the United States, and I spent 18 of those years with undocumented status. Growing up unable to get a licence, a decent job, or federal student aid was hard. After receiving my DACA approval I was finally able to stop living with the fear of being pulled over and getting another $365 ticket. I was finally able to apply for jobs that paid well for the skills I possessed. I was finally able to come out of the shadows and fight for everything I believed in, like rights for undocumented immigrants. No, DACA is not a comprehensive fix, but it certainly changed my life and is a step in the right direction to help us get to where we need to be.
How has DACA improved your community?
DACA significantly improved the small town I lived in because finally, students and young adults were able to obtain licenses and get in-state license plates for their families’ vehicles. My sister and I fought hard against the injustices and racial profiling occurring in our small town, but when people were finally able to get in-state plates is when the injustice completely stopped because the police department no longer had anything to grasp onto.