By Cheyenne Roper, News Reporter
"DACA allowed me to get my driver's license, I was able to apply for employment, and most importantly it fueled my dreams of attending college," said an EC junior currently protected under DACA, who spoke to the Leader anonymously, on the program approaching its March 5 deadline affecting hundreds of thousands of young undocumented students.
Originally set up by former President Obama in 2012, DACA was designed to allow approximately 700,000 undocumented students aged 16 and under to apply for protection against deportation and enable them to legally obtain a two-year permit to study and work in the United States.
After trying to dismantle the original Dream Act, on Sept. 5 of last fall, Trump’s Administration allowed Congress six months to pass a revised Dream Act.
This would enable the “Dreamers” to follow a path towards citizenship.
The anonymous student expressed their concern with Trump’s decision and the very real fear they face on a daily basis.
“My work permit expires in March of 2019, leaving me roughly a year until it becomes real," the student said. "If nothing gets done in favor of DACA recipients […], it would mean I cannot be legally employed, and there are also talks of DACA recipients getting deported since the government does have all of our information."
With the thought of their ability to follow their dreams slipping more and more into the distance, the EC junior's biggest fear focuses on no longer having the ability to see their family if deportation were to become a reality.
“My biggest concern is being separated from my family. Because I know that if you're deported it is difficult to gain reentry to the United States,” the EC junior said.
“It's difficult because my life is here. I have goals and I'd like to accomplish them here at home. It's sad to know that this is something that crosses other DACA recipients' minds,” the student continued.
What the future holds for them is not certain, however the DACA student still remains hopeful that "something will be passed in congress," in favor of helping the many who share the student's fears.
While the anonymous EC student is hopeful, DACA still offers no path to citizenship.
The anonymous EC student has applied for citizenship numerous times with no success and states the DACA student would absolutely become a citizen if given the chance.
“If an opportunity comes sooner through any legislation for Dreamers, I would definitely take it. No second thoughts,” stated anonymous.
President of Hablamos and EC Junior Maria Anguiano spoke on how DACA students’ lives could be altered.
“If you’re working towards your goal and then they try to take away every opportunity that you have, it’s going to deeply affect DACA students, their family, their income, and their own hard work that they put in to everything that they’ve done,” Anguiano said.
“It’s also going to endanger them like if they get deported. They might go to Mexico or any place they came from undocumented and they don’t even know what life is like over there because many of them came as a child,” continued Anguiano.
Elmhurst College has made it clear that it supports the DACA program and what it represents with a rally that took place this past fall.
It is unclear what the future will hold, but as for everything up until this point in their life, the DACA student would not change their parents' decision for the world
“I only know that my parents would not have been able to provide as much in Mexico as they have here in the United States. I am grateful for my parents’ decision to come here and seek a better opportunity for our family,” said the EC junior.
The anonymous student continued, “I can say that the U.S has numerous opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere and I have made the best of the opportunities it has given me.”