“Y sigo porque si puedo.” Participants of DACA have a real opportunity to reach their dreams and go to school. This reality was not possible until Obama’s executive order passed just 4 years ago.
Thousands of students have taken advantage of this new opportunity. Helping and believing in the future of these students has been Mil Mujeres’ priority. The team works diligently through a lengthy process every day to help people without an immigration status in the United States to accomplish their goals.
One of these students is Miriam Tellez. Ms.Tellez goes to California State University Fullerton and is a participant of DACA since 2012. She works at The Dreamers Center which is a safe space in the library where students can go to. Miriam also works at the Alumni House and on campus as an orientation leader.
This motivation and hope was not present in Miriam as she was born in Mexico City and was undocumented. She describes her life before DACA was enacted.
“ Prior to the dream act it was as if I had a double life. I felt like a fraud and I also did not consider being undocumented an identity. I felt handicapped because I had something holding me back. I felt like I was the only one in my school with such a huge secret. It was like a time bomb, I was just waiting to see how far I could get before someone would realize I was undocumented and to be looked down upon for it. “
Miriam responded very positively when asked how DACA has affected her life. She said, “Honestly DACA has had a huge impact on my whole family, not only me, and it is an impact outside my legal rights. It gave me courage to speak up, question the system, and advocate for all immigrants. It also opened my eyes that immigration has no barriers and it is something shared across race. Asians, Latinos, Europeans. It is an invisible identity that many groups share. I was very afraid, I felt like a victim of oppression, and I was full of anger. DACA was like a bandaid for all of my scars. Even though it has lessened a lot of my struggles, it is not a solution. I will keep fighting to help all immigrants come out of the shadows and have basic rights that every human being should have like the right to work and to have education.”
DACA has allowed Miriam, just like many other DACA participants, to have the freedom to be who they want to be and experience the calmness of knowing deportation will not be a problem. Mil Mujeres is very proud of these young students that are taking advantage of an opportunity that they did not have before. Stories, just like Miriam’s, show that DACA has been effective in helping undocumented students gain a better education.
Mil Mujeres is hopeful that more acts like this one, will help more people without an immigration status have more opportunities.
Mil Mujeres Team
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