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Dreamers, people who want to stay

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Bryan Banuelos, Spanish Editor

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Over 800 thousand undocumented people live their daily lives under the shelter of the DACA program.

This September 5, 2017, President Trump announced the plan that would put an end to DACA (short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program that grants a status of amnesty to over 800,000 dreamers, youths that arrived to the United States illegally as minors, which lets them reside in the country and protects them from immediate deportation for an extended period of time.

Now, the final decision lies on the Congress. In the six month period, President Trump urges to work in a final decision.

Only two days after the controversial announcement, the President posted on his Twitter account “For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about – No action!”.

However, what does this six month period mean for the dreamers, the Congress, and for the country?

Ana Zamora, graduate from Taylorsville High School, and part of the DACA program, shares her experience, “It’s a very crushing feeling. Even though there is a six month period, I felt as if I was going to be taken away at any moment. It makes you shrink into yourself, trying to hide away from the possibility that there might not be a solution or that the solution is more detrimental than it is helpful. That’s the initial feeling”.

Starting September 5th, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not accept new applications, although already processed applications before that date will continue their normal course. During the six month period, it is expected that there will not be any drastic changes in the DACA program.

The Employment Authorization Documents (EAD cards) will still be valid until the expiration date and, even though pending procedures for travelling permits will be closed after September 5th, every travelling permit will be also valid until its expiration date, and people outside the country will be allowed to re-enter at any time.

Nowadays, a lot of people are not aware of what it means to be part of the dreamer community, and mainly, how this status is obtained.

The dreamer community is formed from a group of people that were brought to the United States without asking for their opinion. However, they are still citizens of this country, no matter the status the legal status they sustain.

To be a citizen, contrary to the definition many of us have in this country, means to be an active member and to contribute to society, one of the many requirements needed to be part of the DACA program; as Ana Zamora shares with us, “The process of obtaining DACA is long and tedious. It is filled with prerequisites, a certain age, before a certain year, things like this. Most of the dreamers are people who have lived in the United States nearly their entire lives”.

 

The emotional stress that more than 800 thousand people around the country are facing is inimaginable. “I was in tears, for a good hour, after finding out. I felt as if I was being personally attacked and I was unsure why that was. I was terrified and nervous that Congress wouldn’t do anything and that everything I knew would be taken away from me”, narrates Zamora, a freshman at the University of Utah.

The uncertainty of what is there to come after the six month period is unbearable. One thing is for sure, we “trust that Congress will evaluate the situation and attempt to make the ‘best’ decision”, as the DACA member expresses.

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Dreamers, people who want to stay