My best friend is a Dreamer

The cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program left many angry and disgusted by Donald Trump for his senseless acts. Many people went on social media to express their thoughts on the cancellation of the program, but it left me at a loss for words.

This would mean that my best friend would have to worry about her future in America because she was a Dreamer.

I didn’t know how to reach out, and I knew she needed all the support she could get, but what made me capable of handling this situation? I was genuinely devastated by the cancellation of the program that would affect so many studious students around the country.

As of now, the DACA program has an extension until further notice. It will get canceled if the Congress and Senate do not come to an agreement.  Seeing my best friend having to fret about her status in America is truly heartbreaking.

I was born in San Francisco, and Rebeca was born in Mexico, but our lives are so similar. We both have the same background, we’re both pursuing higher education and we’re both working hard right now so we can have a better future. Rebeca and any other Dreamers should never have to worry about their status in America.

Rebeca came to the Bay Area when she was only ten months old. She was born in Autlan, Jalisco located in Mexico. It wasn’t until she was in high school that her parents confessed to her that she wasn’t born in America and they wanted her to file for DACA.

It took Rebeca a long time to tell me because she didn’t feel comfortable telling people her status. She was still learning how to grasp the idea of not being born in America.

“I felt scared because I had no idea what I was going to do. I also felt confused because it conflicted with my self identity. Although I am very proud of my Mexican culture and heritage, I grew up in America,” Rebeca said. “I had a hard time grappling with this because all I wanted is to be acknowledged as what I truly am, Mexican- American.”

Seeing Rebeca confused with her identity made me just as confused about her status. She can’t be labeled as an American because she spent her first ten months in a different country? In the first ten months of an infant’s life, they’re still learning how to adjust to human life and they don’t understand anything.

The Obama Administration established DACA in 2012 and around 800,000 young immigrants have been granted work permits and protection from deportation through DACA. Last year, Donald Trump announced the possible cancellation of DACA, leaving many unsettled and anxious about their future in America.

“I felt angry and heartbroken when it ended. I still feel like history is repeating itself,” Rebeca said. “The American government is deciding to oppress minority and ethnic groups once again.”

Being Mexican American, I, at times, feel like the government is still oppressing me and my ethnic background just as much as someone who is not from this country.

To be able to qualify for DACA, participants must fulfill all requirements: obtaining a high school diploma or anything equivalent, no convictions of a felony and significant misdemeanors.

For example, Rebeca was an excellent student in high school, she took advanced placement classes, and was even able to land on the honor roll list more than once. She got accepted to all her dream schools right after high school, but ultimately she chose to go to community college because she didn’t receive financial aid.

So tell me, why does our disgraced president want to end DACA?

“As I have always said, once the Government is funded, my Administration will work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration,” Trump said in a statement.

Rebeca has been here since she was ten months old and many other Dreamers have similar situations as Rebeca: coming to America at a young age. Trump thinks that’s unfair. Let that sink in.

But what Trump does think is fair is having people continually having to worry about deportation and their future in America.

“I think it’s safe to say that DACA recipients have never felt secure knowing that our program could be terminated at any time,” Rebeca said.

Although she’s going through hardship with her status in America, she’s still able to be a great friend, inspiring older sister, hardworking student and a downright great human being.

“At the same time, Dreamers are resilient, and I feel optimistic that we will have a solution,” said Rebeca.

Graphic by Julio Ceberio jceberio@mail.sfsu.edu

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  • Thanks so much for reading, Kiran!