BY KAYLA BENITA SANCHEZ, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
I am a huge supporter of the DACA program because I have various family members and friends who are DACA recipients. I know that right now you feel that you have lost the battle, but let me tell you something: There is still hope. People come to the United States to achieve the “American Dream” with the idea of reaching success through hard work and determination.
This is exactly the kind of mindset my parents had when they immigrated here from Mexico. Both of my parents are from the same little town called Quebrantadero, a town which is very intimate, where everyone knows each other. As you are walking around, you can feel the burning sun on your face and see all these vibrant and colorful houses. It’s a small pueblo, but it is surrounded by fields of crops that my ancestors grew. On Sundays, everyone heads to their grandma’s house to eat a Mexican homecooked meal surrounded by family members. The whole family sits together to eat pozole (hominy soup) and tostadas, a famous meal in Mexico served only on special occasions.
My parents were accustomed to the unity of Quebrantadero, and this made it difficult for them to go to a country thousands of miles away where they didn’t know anyone. They shared a house with people from the same town just to feel closer to home. They started off with minimum-wage jobs as dishwashers or busboys. They suffered long shifts at work and came “home” to sleep on the cold tile floor because there wasn’t enough room in the house for a bed. My parents migrated to the United States because they wanted my sisters and me to live the American Dream. They went through a lot just to be in a place where they can have a well-paid job, a home and a place to raise a family.
As DREAMers, you faced various obstacles in order to be in a place that is filled with opportunities. With the DACA program, numerous immigrants were protected from deportation and had the ability to get a work permit which opened many doors. It gave you the ability to live a successful life. We all heard the devastating news on Sept. 5 that the DACA program will no longer continue. You all worked very hard to become DACA recipients, and now it has been taken from you. Now all of you live in fear of deportation. As a child of immigrants, I often live in fear as well. I fear that my parents will be deported which will separate my family. I fear of leaving the place where I lived my whole life and I call my home. All my life I have been living in fear because of the concept of deportation. Now you too are worried about deportation because it could take away all the opportunities that you worked for.
Don’t let this scare you because this is not the end. I don’t want you to lose hope because of this event. You have to be strong. I want you to know that this is not over. We will overcome any obstacle that comes in our way. As DREAMers or children of immigrants, we know that when life gets hard, we can’t give up; instead, we have to give it our all. We have to show America that we will not be silent and will be protesting and informing others about DACA The United States is a nation of immigrants, and you have a right to be part of it. We have to use this heartbreaking news as our motivation to keep striving. Let your voice be heard by standing up for what you believe in now more than ever. And just remember: el pueblo unido jamás será vencido.
This article first appeared in the Friday, October 13, 2017, Edition of The Echo.