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Life under DACA

Genevieve Soto, Staff Writer

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Living in the shadows, constantly looking over your shoulder, and fearing a knock on the door is the typical life of a person living illegally in the country. You’d be surprised at how many undocumented students are in schools among us. Now that President Trump declared that DACA has ended, fear is indeed in the air.

Jennifer, a Bullard graduate and DACA college student, graduated from high school two years ago and is about to receive her A.A. degree from Fresno City College. She was a guest in Emily Brandt’s English class giving a detailed description of what it is like to live in fear of deportation.

“I came here when I was only two years old with my mother and father from Mexico. Now, at 20, I’m faced with deportation to a country I haven’t see in 18 years,” she said tearfully. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I signed up for DACA in 2012 under President Obama and now the lives of 800,000 of us are in limbo.”

Jennifer, who asked that her last name not be used in fear of ICE, is referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. It was an executive order by President Obama that gave certain illegal immigrant children brought here at no fault of their own a chance to work, and eventually become legal. However, the program has lapsed under President Trump, and congress has yet to decide its fate.

“I know my parents broke the law, but people have to remember we come here not only for better employment, but to escape the corruption of the drug cartel,” she said.

Jennifer is terrified at the thought of returning to Michoacan where many drug deaths have occured. “Some of my cousins are lawyers and they tried to beat back the corrupt system, but they are chased away in fear of their lives.”

Jennifer says she would like to see the United States intervene and help its neighbors to the south, “I believe if the U.S. would get involved and help Mexico kick out the cartel, life would be better for everyone on the North American continent.”

She says that she realizes that Americans value the rule of law and understands why many are fed up with the undocumented population.

“I am sympathetic with my countrymen, but they must remember that we want to become a part of this great system. I feel very American even though I am of Latina heritage. This is the country that I love.”

When asked about the possibility of fighting corruption of Mexico from this side of the border, Jennifer said it is quite possible, especially if many Mexican Americans use their dual citizenship.

“We can force change through the power of our vote and make our voices heard that peace is needed in the old country.”

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