DREAMer Stories

On June 15, 2012, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a memorandum entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children.” Under President Barack Obama, this created an Executively authorized administrative program that permitted certain individuals who came to the United States as juveniles and met several other criteria— to request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and eligibility for work authorization.  This program became known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  On August 15, 2012, the federal government started accepting applications.

Almost Eight years later, DACA is in jeopardy. The Trump administration announced that they would end DACA. These young people now fear exile from their home in the United States. Those impacted by DACA are often referred to as “Dreamers.” Below are the stories of how DACA has positively impacted some of these Dreamers.

Ricardo Morones Torres

Ricardo came to the United States with his parents from Jalisco, Mexico at the age of four. He has been living in the United States for over twenty-five years.

“Because of DACA, I was motivated to go to law school; I am currently a first-year law student. I dream of becoming a prosecutor, so I can fight crime.”

Luis Roberto Ursua Briceno

Luis arrived to the United States when he was five years old. After DACA was announced he decided to enroll in college. In 2016, Luis started his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at Arizona State University.

“Through DACA I could achieve the then impossible, a college education. DACA allowed me to come out of the shadows and show the true potential I have, without fear. DACA demonstrated to me that people cared, that people wanted to help and understand the situation. “

Gloria S. Rinconi

Gloria immigrated to the United States when she was a year old. DACA was enacted when she was in high school. Gloria is now a medical assistant in Dallas, Texas.

“DACA gave me the wings I had hoped for all my life when I was in school. Us DACA recipients are not here to harm the US, the US is our home and will always be our home.”

Mariella C. Zavala

Mariella arrived in the United States when she was nine. After attending a local university in South Texas, DACA was enacted. After DACA, she was finally able to drive, work, and travel outside of South Texas. She accepted a full tuition scholarship at the University of California- Irvine where she was the first undocumented PhD student at the Paul Merage School of Business.

“It (DACA) is not a “hand-out.” Revoking DACA would cost the US the potential of many hard-working, extremely resilient individuals who make this country a better place.”


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