Lives are balanced on the DACA decision

Maggie Gonzalez, Hi-Gusher Staff

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If you were born in the United States, consider yourself lucky. That means you’re a U.S. Citizen. You automatically have privileges many other people around the United States don’t. That’s something no one can take away from you.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I was born here. My older sister was not born here and was an undocumented illegal immigrant. She arrived in the U.S. when she was around three years old. When she was 18, she couldn’t get a driver’s license, get hired for a job or apply for college.
My dad was skeptical about my sister getting her education. It’s hard to apply for college or any type of financial aid when you don’t have an identification card, Social Security number, birth certificate or any form of legal documentation.
My sister is a “Dreamer,” a recipient of the benefits provided by Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals or DACA. Before DACA, government officials voted on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, known as the DREAM Act. It was reintroduced many times, but was never passed.
While the DREAM Act failed, the name stuck, which is why recipients of DACA are known as Dreamers, even though the DREAM Act and DACA are not the same.
DACA gave the participant the ability to legally apply for a job, receive a Social Security number and a driver’s license in any state but Nebraska.
The DREAM Act was attempting to create another pathway to citizenship.
President Donald Trump announced the end of DACA on Sept. 5, causing mass outrage and panic for its recipients.
DACA has helped many immigrant children who were brought here without a choice. Its helped many immigrants get jobs, an education and a fair chance at living. It gave many privileges to people like my sister. She always worked hard. It didn’t matter if it was for school, art or work. She did her best.
The application for DACA was fairly time consuming and expensive.
Those who applied were only eligible if they fit certain requirements, such as being able to provide some sort of transcript, or documentation that they had been in the U.S. since June 6, 2012.
Currently, Dreamers have one last renewal date, before funding stops for the program. The final deadline is Oct. 5 for participants who have an expiring permission before March 8, 2018.
Dreamers currently protected with DACA will not have their status changed immediately, but they will be exposed to possible deportation, if Congress does not pass a law granting them protection before March.
The government helped a huge population then took away everything from them on short notice. It’s frightening how easily something can be taken away from you because you didn’t originate from here. They gave many Dreamers a taste of what it’s like to be treated like an American. Now, it’s like we’ve returned to our old habits of excluding a huge amount of former-Americans.
Disregarding the accusations, racism and stereotypes, many immigrants have worked so hard for a fair chance.
I’ve known many people who’ve worked “under the table” just to get by. That usually comes with not getting paid minimum wage or working ridiculous hours the average American doesn’t work.
Hopefully, you’re lucky enough to have been born in America.
As it stands now, the lives of many people that you go to school with, work with, or live near will be changed. I know my sister’s life will.