Student shares insight into Dreamers’ struggles

By Annette Quijada (J-101 Staff Writer)

Emily Chagolla is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient who wakes up every morning dealing with the emotions of fear and worry.

She was brought to the U.S. from Irapuato, Guanajuato by her parents when she was one year old.

The only place she considers her home is Los Angeles.

DACA is a policy that provides a work permit and protection from deportation to children who were brought to the United States illegally.

It was set in place on June 15, 2012, by President Barack Obama.

When his presidential  term ended in 2017, Donald Trump threatened that he would get rid of DACA.

His administration is now trying to go through with that threat.

Growing up, it was always hard for Chagolla to watch her peers have different and easier opportunities given to them simply because of their citizenship .

Trump’s election in 2016  gave her a new definition of fear.

“I have to watch what I do and say  to make sure my actions don’t portray anything negative toward myself or other DACA recipients,” Chagolla said.

Now she lives everyday with the pressure of always having to be perfect when it comes to school and how she uses her work permit,

The constant racism and hate toward students like her affects the way she trusts people and with who she shares that she is undocumented.

Chagolla is not embarrassed of her status, but she said she is afraid of the backlash she will receive from certain types of people.

Not only has this affected her, but also her parents, who are also immigrants. For that reason they worry for the safety of themselves and their daughter.

On the eve of the 2018 midterm election, the Trump administration decided to put pressure on the termination of DACA.

The administration sent a letter to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to demand a decision, but they did not issue one because of this.

The administration was able to bypass three appeals courts in order to get an immediate review.

A  panel of the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled against the Trump administration’s effort to end DACA.

Majority did not agree with the Justice Department who claimed the policy is unlawful.

The panel said “DACA lets them devote much needed resources to enforcement priorities such as threats to national security, rather than blameless and economically productive young people with clean criminal records.”

Upon receiving this news, Chagolla became ecstatic.

“If people were highly educated on this topic, and would realize that [they] came here for a better life, they would put themselves out there to bring us a bit more sense of security,” Chagolla said.

Even with this administration trying hard to eliminate this program, she feels hope as she continues to see more people in favor of the program.

As DACA makes its way to the Supreme Court, many Dreamers hope the program grows positively over time.

Although many recipients see this as another win in their favor, they want actual movement.

Chagolla would like for them to “expand [their] voting and travel options and to eventually have a pathway to citizenship.”

Her future and the future of many others is still left hanging with uncertainty.

The Court’s decision influences the Supreme Court. They could move to settle the DACA debate by June of 2019.

Currently, U.S immigration services have said that if you have never applied for DACA, you are not able to do so today either. Renewals are the only process available.

ELAC has its own Dream Resource Center for any questions Dreamers may have regarding financial aid, residency status and registration assistance.

The center is located in the Student Services Building E1-142.

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