Threats to DACA hit home for students

Story by Ashleigh Fields, News Correspondent

The average student awakens every morning with their mind focused on the day ahead. Various school assignments, after school activities or even a job remain at the top of the list of things that stress
them out. This is not the case for senior Stephany Castro.

Castro has a 4.4 GPA and is an active participant in JROTC and a Student Congress mem-
ber with hopes of going to college. Unfortunately, these qualities do not guarantee her citizenship. Castro is a dream-
er, an immigrant brought to the United States as a child without documentation but who was guaranteed limited documentation under DACA.

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and was a program created by the Obama Administration. The program allows children under the age of 16 who were brought to America illegally the chance to be a typical American teenager. It allows teens to have a Social Security number, car insurance and the ability to apply to college.

“As soon as I got my DACA papers, I got a part-time job,” Castro said. “I am saving for college. It is going to cost me a
lot of money, but I don’t care. I know that it will be worth it.”

Because she is not a American citizen, Castro isn’t eligible for most scholarships or financial aid but she hopes to eventually earn enough money to pay her way through college. She wants to make her dreams come true in the country she calls home.

“I’ve been in America for 16 years, since I was one year old,” Castro said. “I’ve never even gone back to Mexico.”

So when she heard Trump’s plan to end DACA in September, she was petrified.

“It felt like my whole world, everything that I have worked for, came crashing down,” she said.

Unfortunately, Castro is just one of nearly 800,000 other “dreamers” who live in fear that they will be deported to countries many of them have never known.

Currently, those in the United States under DACA will be allowed to stay until their DACA paperwork expires, meaning work permits and other forms of legal paperwork will remain honored for now. Those who turned in DACA applications before Sept 5 will be processed and renewal applications received by Oct 5 will be accepted as well.

The current ruling on DACA will allow for those who applied for renewal before the cutoff date to remain in America for an extended two years while President Trump searches for an alternative.

The Trump administration is still looking for a way to phase out DACA with, “minimal disruption,” according to CNN. But as of now, dreamers are forced to patiently await their fate.

“I want students to know that it is possible to be a successful immigrant,” Castro said. “You can go to college,
you can find work if you dare to dream.”