by Reena Afridi
Nida Ilyas feels grateful for the security DACA has provided. The twenty-six-year-old is one of the 800,000 who benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by President Obama in 2012. Nida came to the states at the age of thirteen from Saudi Arabia. She attended public school in Queens and earned her B.A degree from Queens College. “New York is home,” she says.
President Trump rescinded DACA and that leaves the future of 800,000 people in the United States undecided.
Nida has been going to protests with fellow Dreamers to protest the Trump administration’s decision. Nida said most Dreamers need DACA in order to get education and to legally work. “It’s not a lot we are asking for,” she said. Nida hasn’t left the States since she first came here because if she leaves she won’t be allowed back in. She feels left out when her friends and family travel to other countries for vacations. “Even though America is home I feel trapped here sometimes,” she said.
Nida plans to marry her boyfriend who was born in New Jersey and is an American citizen. He will sponsor her so she can get her green card and won’t be deported. She says not everyone can do that.
Originally published at ccnyintroductiontojournalism.com on October 11, 2017.