I’ve made history for my family

As a historian, I shamelessly wanted to be part of history. I wanted to have my name written somewhere that indicated how Pamela Chomba fought for something, someone, and it mattered. Thanks to multiple organizations, the greater coalition, and FWD.us, I’ve added my name to the Amicus Brief in support of families that could benefit from DAPA and expanded DACA. I’m fighting for my family. I am fighting for myself.

My American story began when my family and I immigrated from Peru. My parents sacrificed everything — they sold our house, applied for visas, and bought plane tickets within just three months. I was eleven, my sister ten, and my youngest brother two. My mom explained, “A better life. Jobs, school, college; it’s all better there.”

A better education was my future.

My little sister and I on her first day of pre-school in Peru.

My parents instilled in me at a young age to value education. I was the five-year-old kindergarten student that cried when summer vacation came around. I have always been set in pursuing my dreams, honoring the sacrifice my parents made to come to the U.S. and living by my mother’s words to have a better, American life.

I live in a mixed status family. My family and I have now lived in the U.S. for nearly 15 years and still remain in limbo with our immigration statuses. My 10-year-old brother is a U.S. citizen, my siblings and I are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, but my parents are still waiting for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).

In November of 2014, we thought my parents’ wait was over. We sat in front of the TV. We made plans. We beamed with excitement. President Obama announced his immigration executive action, which included a series of measures, such as the expansion of the current DACA program, as well as the creation of a deferred action program: DAPA. It was an inspiring, powerful moment in our country’s, and in my family’s, history.

The expansion of DACA and the creation of DAPA — together with the original DACA program that was announced in June 2012 — would allow approximately five million unauthorized immigrant parents and their DREAMer children to gain temporary protection from deportation and the opportunity to apply for a work permit.

Under DAPA, my parents would be able to find jobs that value their talent and experience. Under DAPA, my parents would be able to live in the U.S. without the fear of being separated from their children and the life they’ve built here.

And under DAPA, my parents would be able to start a plan for their health insurance, receiving necessary preventative care and medication they so desperately need. Since January 2015, my dad has suffered multiple strokes and has had high blood pressure. Additionally, we are still unable to find a cure for my mom’s chronic fatigue which affects her pituitary gland.

My family and I celebrating my brother’s 7th birthday.

November 2014 was a glimmer of hope in our lives, but for the next year and a half, uncertainty for my parents still remained. In November 2015, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against allowing expanded DACA and DAPA to go forward, and upheld the district court’s injunction.

With expanded DACA and DAPA on hold, millions of families like mine are living in limbo and in fear. Now, we’re making history. We’re fighting alongside a new generation of business leaders. Earlier this month, over 60 tech leaders, including Facebook CEO and FWD.us Founder Mark Zuckerberg, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging the Court to keep families together.

It means so much to me that business leaders have joined with mayors, faith leaders, members of Congress past and present, civic leaders, scholars, teachers, and so many others in making clear the Supreme Court understands just what is at stake with this case: the future of families like mine.

Join me in making history and standing up for families. Sign your name at http://www.fwd.us/scotus-brief