In June, I celebrated after the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump Administration on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The decision brought joy and relief to many Dreamers like me who had been too young to join DACA before Trump announced plans to end it, but who now hoped to apply to this life-changing program. But the Trump administration has already announced a new effort to limit DACA, including trying to block me and about 66,000 younger Dreamers from applying to DACA for the first time.
Their efforts to fill my life and those of my fellow non-DACA Dreamers with fear and uncertainty are cruel and pointless. Having the chance to obtain DACA would be a life-changing opportunity for us. Besides granting us the opportunity to work, study and drive, DACA would give us a feeling of safety and hope that little by little we are closer to becoming what we already feel in our hearts: full participants in U.S. society and eventually U.S. citizens.
Being undocumented always posed some type of challenge in my life, including the knowledge that the opportunities available to most of my friends and classmates in school might not be available to me. My family and I came from Brazil to New Jersey when I was starting middle school. I remember a lot about those early days in America, including being nervous and excited when first arriving at JFK Airport and playing like a little kid when I saw snow for the first time. I also remember the challenges, including having to learn both English and Spanish simultaneously, because my school’s ESL class didn’t teach in Portuguese. But I persevered, eventually graduating with my high school’s top academic ranking and a 4.6 GPA.
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