09 Feb Feel Good Friday: The Dream Act
Voices of DREAMers
Today we look at the powerful and positive words of those who were greatly helped by DACA
and will be directly impacted by the DREAM Act.
Luis Alcauter: The DACA program was announced by President Obama on August 15th, 2012. Upon hearing this news, I immediately applied for DACA. Before DACA, I faced multiple barriers while in college, such as not having a bank account since it required a social security number and a government issued form of identification, which I did not have.
Obtaining a driver’s license, a work permit and a social security number are things some people take for granted, but they empowered me. Being able to drive and to work allowed me to apply to jobs I wouldn’t consider before. I felt limitless.
Juventino Meza: I received DACA and since have used my new status to build a better life. With a work-permit and government issued identification, the possibilities seem endless. I got a job where I could earn enough to become a first-time home buyer, helping to stimulate the U.S. housing market and grow our nation’s economy.
I started law school last year in hopes that one day I get to uphold and defend our constitution. To help others immigrants like me, I helped start a nonprofit in Minnesota that focuses on helping immigrant youth stay in high school and attend college, because more education means more opportunities to give back to our country.
Zion Dirgantara: I came to the U.S. in the summer of 2001, about 3 months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In fact, my first day of school in the U.S. was on 9/11, on that Tuesday morning. It’s something I could never forget. In the following week, President George W Bush made his remarks about 9/11. I was so inspired by him when he said: “Are you with us or against us in this fight against terror?” From then, I knew where I stood. He gave me a dream to one day join the military and serve my country any way I can. In 2014, the U.S. Army (MAVNI Program) announced that it would open recruitment to DACA recipients with special skills to join in an exchange for an earned path to U.S. citizenship. This was an easy to decision for me to join and enlist. It was my lifelong dream to become a soldier and become an American.
Maria Praeli: DACA let me get my driver’s license, pay my way through school, and pursue my professional aspirations. I was able to go to college knowing that I had a future, that all my hard work would be worth it. I’ve grown up in this country, pledged allegiance to our flag since kindergarten, gone to school, and built a life full of memories. I don’t picture my life in any other country. This is my home, and all I’m asking for is the chance to be able to stay and build my life – without the fear of being deported.
Thank you for a great week!
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(1) Meza, Juve, and Luis Alcauter. “As DACA recipients, we want to share our stories.” The Hill, Capital Hill Publishing Report, 2 Sept. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2018/01/29/dreamer-wants-to-be-a-u-s-citizen-and-live-at-peace/#6a060e1e709c. Accessed 7 Feb. 2018.
(2) Anderson, Stuart. “Dreamer Wanted To Become An American Soldier.” Forbes, 23 Jan. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2018/01/23/dreamer-wanted-to-become-an-american-soldier/#69bb12e43932. Accessed 7 Feb. 2018.
(3) Anderson, Stuart. “Dreamer Wants To Be A U.S. Citizen And Live At Peace.” Forbes, 29 Jan. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2018/01/29/dreamer-wants-to-be-a-u-s-citizen-and-live-at-peace/#6a060e1e709c. Accessed 7 Feb. 2018.