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ICYMI: “‘All she ever knew was America’: This high school athlete had a plan. Then DACA was rescinded.”

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The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty has a new must-read on the tight rope that Dreamer and high school volleyball player Nicolle Uria is walking.

Like all Dreamers, Nicolle grew up American – her family emigrated from Bolivia when she was just one year old. She didn’t learn she was undocumented until she was a teen:

“You’re undocumented,” her parents told her in her room, and she immediately started to cry.

Before Nicolle could start asking questions, they handed her a folder full of transcripts and paperwork and old tests she had aced. They told her there were forms for her to sign. There was a way for life to go on as it always had. There was hope.

On the front of the red folder, written in black Sharpie, were four letters: DACA.

While Dougherty interviews Nicolle, they’re rushing from a Dreamer meeting, where Nicolle inquired about her future and college options now that DACA is ended, to her volleyball game, where she stars as an outside hitter.

Nicolle’s DACA expires in September 2018. Unless Congress passes a Dream Act, she’ll be subject to deportation back to Bolivia – a country she has never known – separated from her family. As Dougherty explains, “Her parents and sisters all have temporary green cards, putting them on track for permanent residence, and now Nicolle was the only one with an uncertain future. Nicolle focused on the six-month period Trump left for negotiations on DACA. They had to come up with something, she thought.”

Nicolle’s story exemplifies the Dreamer story – an American teen, planning for college, who just had the rug pulled out from under her – and underscores the urgent need for Congress to pass a clean Dream Act before the end of the year. 

Dougherty’s piece is available online here.