By Francisco J., OFA-Utah
I wish leaders in Congress could understand what it feels like to be set up to fail.
I’m in college, studying information systems and paying my way through work and a patchwork of special scholarships since I don’t qualify for any federal aid.
I’ve worked with our student center and started initiatives on campus to support our students — I want to do a quantitative research project. I’ve even interned on Capitol Hill. I want to work in public service.
I’m trying to build a future that can help my parents, my sister, and her children.
But this administration doesn’t want to let me do that. They’re trying to get rid of me, and thousands of others, who want to contribute to this country. Our country.
DREAMers and immigrant families — we pay taxes, support our schools, and serve in the military, but we still lose. That’s hurting the rest of our communities, too. Congress is allowing this administration’s discrimination. Congress is letting us lose.
I want to believe that members of Congress don’t understand what it means to be undocumented. It’s not as simple as “getting in line”; there is no line. The system is broken.
Until a few months ago, I thought that while immigration officers could come knocking at any time, at least I had some protection through DACA. But now that the program has been rescinded, I’m terrified. This is the only country I know — it’s the only one I’ve ever known, and the idea that I could be gone is more real than ever.
For hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients, losing our status means putting a halt on our dreams. It’s harder for us to drive a car, go to school, get a job, or travel to see our families. We will go back to living in fear of deportation from the country we love, from our homes and families, back to a country that we’ve never known.
This treatment of good, hardworking people isn’t true of the country I know and believe in. The United States I serve is made of communities that take care of one another, that help people shine and contribute because they have something to give. That’s fundamental to who we are.
Congress needs to actively fight for that country, especially as this administration directly attacks it. Our representatives need to support those of us who are trying, against all odds, to give. Already, thousands of people like me have lost their protection, and hundreds more lose theirs every day.
Congress needs to pass a clean DREAM Act — and they need to do it now. Please call your elected officials and encourage them to do the right thing:
Originally published at www.ofa.us.