Story by: NAOMI NIX
“Daniel Castillo was in middle school when he learned he was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. On their way to his mother’s job from his Georgia school, his family got into a car crash, and Castillo watched her fear of the responding police officers with bewilderment. When she couldn’t produce a license, she was taken to the police station.
The moment he saw his mom in the cop car, “she didn’t have to tell me — I just knew,” said Castillo. “After that night, we all had a talk. She kind of explained what she could to a sixth-grader about our situation.”
As Castillo grew up, their “situation” — being undocumented and poor — informed every aspect of their lives. Fearing deportation, his mother constantly warned her young children not to open the door to anyone while she worked long hours cleaning houses. In high school, Castillo had to work rather than joining in after-school activities. While his mostly white classmates happily prepared for college, Castillo — barred from the state’s top universities and ineligible for in-state tuition at community colleges because of his immigration status — resigned himself to never getting a degree.
His fortunes changed when he was referred to TheDream.US, a scholarship program for aspiring college graduates who were part of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants undocumented youth temporary legal status and freedom from deportation. Castillo, 19, is now a freshman at Eastern Connecticut State University.”
To read the entire piece, go to The74: https://www.the74million.org/article/students-fear-trumps-vow-to-end-daca-means-deportations-and-an-end-to-their-college-dreams