Happy Third Birthday, DACA!
I still can’t believe that it has been three years.
It was a Wednesday afternoon. I was sitting at my desk at an internship I was finishing for the summer, and I saw my phone ring from the corner of my eye. It was a blocked number.
Thinking nothing of it, I picked up the phone, said hello, and listened to a White House staffer tell that President Obama would be making an announcement that day. An announcement that could help me, my brothers, and members of my community.
“I wanted to let you know,” said the staffer “because we want to make sure folks not only sign up for the program, but are not scammed by notarios.”
To be honest — that is all I remember from that phone call.
The details of the President’s announcement, the name of the staffer, or why they decided to reach out to me escape me to this day. All I remember from that are the words “immigration,” “relief,” and “announcement.”
Without hesitation I stood up, walked to the lobby of my office, changed the channel to CNN without even asking, and watched.
President Obama was on TV, talking about how a new directive would allow certain undocumented immigrants to apply for deferred action, obtain a work permit, and in some cases — a driver’s license.
It has been three years since June 15, 2012.
Already, we have seen 664,607 beneficiaries of the program, and a considerable number of renewals despite some delays.
Earlier this year, we saw Nebraska grants driver’s licenses to DACA beneficiaries, making the original 2012 DACA fully operational. And along the way, we have learneda significant amount of information regarding DACA beneficiaries.
Personally, I was able to go back to school, enroll, and graduate with my Masters in Public Administration:
However, other students have also found their own success — making jobs and educational opportunities more accessible to undocumented youth.
While it is certainly a huge milestone, to be standing here three years later after a renewal, we must not forget where we the politics surrounding immigration, and the DACA program, are headed.