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TheDream.US: Nine Years Ago, DACA Started Changing Lives. Now, Let’s Build on Its Successes By Delivering Citizenship

For Immediate Release: August 13, 2021

Contact: Michael Earls: [email protected]


TheDream.US: Nine Years Ago, DACA Started Changing Lives. Now, Let’s Build on Its Successes By Delivering Citizenship

Gaby Pacheco and Sadhana Singh of TheDream.US Reflect on DACA Anniversary

Washington, DC – On August 15, 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program officially opened for applications. Ahead of the nine year anniversary of the DACA program’s beginning, two TheDream.US staff reflect on that day and its significance:

The following is a statement from Gaby Pacheco, Director of Advocacy, Development, and Communications at TheDream.US:

“Nine years ago, DACA started changing lives. I’ll never forget the images of immigrant youth and their families stretched into lines as far as the eye could see in designated DACA sign-up locations across the country. I was proud to help thousands of people apply for this life-changing program.

After years of hearing the inaccurate ‘why don’t you just get in line?’ question from immigration reform skeptics, it was a reminder that when given the chance to get in an actual line, we seized the opportunity.

Since that day, hundreds of thousands of DREAMers have relied on DACA to expand the possibilities for their own lives – on campuses and in workplaces and communities across the country. In the process, they’ve demonstrated that when immigrants have chances to more fully participate in this country, it’s a good thing for all of America.

Now, with the future of DACA uncertain and with DREAMers’ lives again in limbo following Judge Andrew Hanen’s recent ruling, it’s time to build on the successes and broad bipartisan popularity of DACA to finally deliver legislation to make citizenship and full participation in American life possible for DREAMers and other immigrants.

Nine years ago, DACA started changing lives. Now, let’s build on its successes and finally deliver citizenship for DREAMers and other long-settled immigrants in America.”


The following is a statement from Sadhana Singh, Senior Communications Manager at TheDream.US:

“DACA completely changed my life, and the life of my family. I was 26 when it became available, having lived in the U.S. since I was 13 years old. I immediately got in ‘the line’ to apply because it was a salvation – I saw it as the break I needed to finally advance my life, where I was languishing in restrictive circumstances with no way to achieve my goals.

My brother was able to get a license to drive and got a job with his EAD (Employment Authorization Document), which helped to support our household. I was able to apply for TheDream.US Scholarship and fulfill my dream of earning a bachelor’s degree, 13 years after I graduated high school.

I went on to a fulfilling career and built a prosperous life for myself – none of this would have been possible without DACA. I am forever grateful.”


About TheDream.US

TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for immigrant youth, having provided more than 7,500 college scholarships to DREAMers attending over 75 partner colleges in 19 states and Washington, DC. We believe that all young Americans, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to get a college education and pursue a meaningful career that contributes to our country’s future.