DACA Changed My Life and Future

by Victoria Ruíz-Marín

When I was eight years old, my mother made the decision to give us a better life. Growing up in a part of Mexico that was impoverished, my mother brought me to the United States for us both to have greater opportunities. When I started my 4th-grade year in Las Vegas, I was the only kid who didn’t know how to speak English and although I was intimidated, a better education was an important reason for my mother and I coming to the United States.

In the summer of 2011, my mother and I learned that my father had been shot in Mexico. I had only met my father about twice in my life, but with no other family in the United States to take care of me, I had to return to Mexico with my mother.

Victoria and Her Father

When it came time for us to make the return to Las Vegas, we were separated. I could either stay with my mother, and be caught by border patrol, or continue back to Las Vegas. Ultimately, I had to make the tough decision to return to the United States without my mother, I was only 15, but I wanted to finish high school in Las Vegas so I could pursue further education.

It hasn’t been easy without my mother to guide and support me through the years, no one to celebrate my successes or cry with me when I needed it; but it was pursuing a better education that led my mother and I to this country in the first place, and I was determined to continue achieving my dreams — and with DACA, I’ve been able to do that without fear of deportation.

Victoria and Her Mother

Today, I am an organizer with the Nevada coordinated campaign, and after the election will return to finish my education at the UNLV School of Nursing.

As a DACA recipient, it is my hope that in the future we will receive a more permanent and inclusive form of immigration reform passed. Because President Obama’s executive actions for DACA only include so many, and DAPA is unable to continue as a result of the 4–4 impasse from the Supreme Court, immigrant families do not have they permanent relief they need.

Four years ago, DREAMer families were able to begin moving out of the shadows. To stand with them add your name here.