Gladys Klamka, DREAMer
Tell me about your family. When did you come to America?
First I came to the US when I was 2 years of age in 86' , although my family came after the 86' immigration amnesty they did not qualify for this program. Years later my parents tried to adjust status threw my fathers employer at the time, but the immigration lawyer they had failed to comply with addition evidence the Immigration Service requested, and lost their case and money for that matter.
Tell me more about your childhood and growing up in America?
As a young child growing up I never considered myself any different from my peers at school. I did notice they had permanent homes while my family consistently moved, we payed rent and never qualifying to buy a home, even though we payed taxes. My friends both parents home during the evenings and weekends , mine worked doubled shifts and weekends, never able to receive help with food, rent health, they paid out of pocket for every living expenses. My folks took English classes when they could, the only vacation I can remember was taking a weekend trip to the beach, the only time we spent away from home.
How has DACA helped you?
DACA has help me get a better paying job, despite most critics say about immigrants stealing jobs, I applied and qualified like any other Sally and Jill. Before DACA I worked 2 sometime 3 jobs to pay for school, rent , food and set money aside for a home. With DACA I received a social linked to my work permit I was able to build credit , then qualified for a home. I am now a home owner. DACA has given me a chance to be financially independent, I own several cars, and I invest in the stock market.
I received a a business degree in marketing threw a vocational school then to community college. I now work at a doctors office in Hunterdon County processing pre-medical billing for health insurances and as a receptionist. I plan to return to school to obtain a medical billing qualification to work free lance and be able to help hospitals & doctor offices with audits.
What are your biggest hopes and fears right now?
As of now, I’m terrified of losing my home that I worked so hard for, owning my first permanent home is everything to me, not to mention everything I built in my home, family. I hope to gain some sort of citizenship and have a sense of belonging, feeling comfortable and free of a heavy weight on my shoulder.
What are your dreams for the future?
My dreams for the future is to build my own family, having children of my own, because of the political mess that I am in, my husband and I refuse to bring another person into this situation. Possibly take a real honeymoon too, and to be able to travel. I am currently a moderator for several a Face Book groups to help immigrant youth, the biggest DACA support group called DACA Dreamers Only . Our hope is to establish enough information on immigration and provide knowledge to those willing to listen and learn. It’s also a support group for those seeking help.
What is your message to other Americans, members of Congress, and the President?
My message to other American’s, members of Congress and the President , is pretty simple, yes there are laws in this great nation we all call home, but over time laws change. How has this country easily forgotten how America was built, even our ancestors before us came with hopes and dreams, to a land full of nothing but promise of a better life. How are we to judge the less unfortunate ones who fail trying to reach for the American dream, we can not control what happens to citizens of foreign counties, but why should we turn the other way. If it weren’t for the risk my family took , I would have been just another headline statistic, in a country that dose not protect women against violence, another missing child, a motherless child. The family before us came to a nation, to build structure, freedom to worship, speak, and most important to provide for the future.
This continued fight is not just about DACA, its for all immigrants, TPS holders, the 11 million undocumented immigrants who continue to provide for all American’s , and future Dreamers.