Dreams may come to end for many

Melany Dominguez, Managing Editor

Roughly 800,000 young people across America are wondering what will happen to them now that President Donald Trump has ended the program DACA, including students and faculty.

“The decision has placed my goal of attending graduate school on the back burner as I await for a solution,” a Richmond Community Schools faculty member said. “It makes any long term planning difficult as we don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s an uneasy feeling.”

The program DACA helped illegal immigrants who were brought here as children without their consent to lead as normal lives as possible. They are sometimes referred to as “Dreamers.”

“With DACA, I was able to get my drivers license, get a bank account and even go to college,” the faculty member said. “Activities that many of us take for granted.”

President Trump and other supporters of ending the program argued that DACA was unconstitutional.

“Reading the constitutionality of DACA, DACA wouldn’t have held up in Federal Court,” the faculty member said. “However, there were avenues that should have been explored before ending the program.”

To some Dreamers, DACA signified more than just a paper allowing them to be here legally but it signified hope.

“The program DACA to me signified hope,” one sophomore  said. “Hope for a life here, a life that without being afraid all the time. An as normal life as I can possibly get here in the United States and what I mean by a normal is being able to get a driver’s license, a job, going to college, and privileges that here citizens take for granted.”

Some Dreamers have no memory of their home country, all they have ever known is the United States.

“My parents and I are from Mexico,” she continued. “I was brought here at age 3. I don’t have any memories of Mexico though, all I have ever known is USA.”

The U.S. is considered a home to some Dreamers.

“I consider the US my home with Mexico being my heritage,” the RCS faculty member said. “I basically grew up in the US. Aside from 3 years, I’ve lived 20 years in Richmond and it’s basically my adoptive home. If I had been older when I came into the US I might have issues discerning which place is “home” but now, the lines are blurred.”

To others, although they have little to no memories of their homeland, they still consider the country they were born in to be their home.

“I consider my home to be  El Salvador,” another sophomore said. “I was born there and that is always going to be my home.”

Some applications were still in the process of being reviewed and accepted when DACA was shut down.

“I currently have an application in but I am not sure of what will happen now,” the sophomore said.

The decision to end DACA is not only affecting Dreamers but their families as well.

“Aside from me not being able to work or get my license, DACA being shut down can potentially have repercussions for both my family and I,” the sophomore said. “With my application still being processed and just the fact that I put in an application puts a greater risk on my family and I because I, in a sense, made it easier for I.C.E. (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) to find us because the applications contains all of my current information like where I live and what school I go to, information like that.”

Some DACA recipients have begun to build a life for themselves here, they have children and what they thought would be a stable job.

“Well my big sister she only has one more year till it [DACA papers] expires, so that is going to affect her really bad because she won’t be able to work and she has a child to take care of,” the sophomore said.

The possibility of getting sent back has made some Dreamer’s uneasy.

“The idea of getting sent back makes me have mixed emotions,” she said. “On one hand I am terrified because the U.S is all I have ever known but on the other hand I have always known that getting sent back could happen. If sent back I would feel sad to leave everyone I love behind, but I would feel excited to finally get to meet all of my family and to get to know where I am from.”