This is my story. I am a Dreamer. At the age of 8 years old, I migrated to the United States and have considered this my home ever since. This is a story I share with over 800,000 immigrants in the United States of America who here are under DACA.
We are referred to as Dreamers after the DREAM Act bill, proposed immigration reform that Congress has yet to pass. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is the immigration policy established through Executive Order by the Obama administration in June 2012 after Congress failed to act. DACA means they won’t deport us or lock us up, and they allow us to work legally, although we can’t take any government benefits.
Because of DACA, I have been able to come out of the shadows of being undocumented and obtain a social security number, driver’s permit, and the opportunity to live my dream as an educator. In return for this, I pay $500 every two years and submit a stack of paperwork to renew my DACA term.
Last week, on September 5th, 2017, Donald Trump cancelled this program. With the stroke of a pen, Trump cancelled so many opportunities for education, legal work, and normal life in America. He is driving hundreds of thousands of people back into the shadows, back into fear, with the threat of deportation to countries or origin that are foreign to us who came here as children.
I have felt the uneasiness in my stomach about my life changing in the blink of an eye. I am sick over the lives and families that will be broken, the blow this will be to AMERICA. I have gone through long hours, energy, and expensive cost of the application and renewal processes in the hopes that I can maintain my life as an American. We as Dreamers registered our personal information with a government that will soon turn its back on us and make us “deportable.” But we know Americans will join us in fighting back against this crisis. Congress can still pass the DREAM Act or a similar law to give us protected status or a path to citizenship. We know there will be a movement to push for justice for Dreamers and all immigrants. For now, we need to literally buy time for people who may otherwise be kidnapped, ripped from their families and livelihoods, thrown on a plane in handcuffs, and left in a country that is not their home.
This is possible because Trump’s Order does not banish all DACA recipients at once. Trump is allowing DACA recipients to live out their “2-year terms.” Starting on March 5th, 2018, roughly 7,000 people per week will lose their protected status as their 2-year DACA permits run out. They will lose legal working status, lose jobs, and live in fear of being picked up for deportation.
Additionally, the Trump administration has given a very brief window of time for people to renew the DACA status if it expires any time between now and March 5th, 2018, but the renewal submission application must be in by October 5th, 2017.* No new person can apply for DACA, but there are roughly 200,000 people in the U.S. with expirations between now and March 5th who can buy 2 more years of time if they can put in renewal applications before October 5th.
As a Dreamer, it is my duty to advocate for and assist other Dreamers as they go through the same process. Through this Go Fund Me page I hope to raise the money to fund the renewals expenses for at least one Dreamer whose DACA application is set to expire. This assistance will give them two more years to live their lives in America, to plan for what’s next,to see where the movement for immigrants’ rights will leave people who came to the U.S. as children undocumented.
The cost is $500 to renew. This can be impossible or very difficult for many DACA recipients to pay, but we can help through this campaign. The value of your support, love, and understanding to a Dreamer who’s life is in flux is priceless.
I ask that you contribute at whatever level you can, and that you share this page with your family and friends. In addition to raising money, we can raise awareness of this situation and who we Dreamers are. Together, we can make a Dreamer’s dream a reality.
$500 allows one person to continue living in America for 2 years. This is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save someone's life. We need this money by September 30th! Give now, share, and fight back!
If you are a Dreamer eligible to renew your application now, please contact us! We are prioritizing people in the Greater Philadelphia area, but will keep a waiting list for others depending on how much money we raise. First come first serve basis, but we reserve the right to use discretion to help those we decide need it most.
Sydelle O., a Dreamer
with the collaboration of Matthew Pillischer, JD,
and the support of Local Emergency Action & Response Network (LEARN) of Montgomery County.
For more info and press contacts email: [email redacted]
*Detailed news stories explaning all this can be found here (and this does not take the place of legal advice-- every situation may be different and may require the expert advice of an immigration attorney):
- David Bliven
- Matthew Silverstein
- Sunshine Mcbride
- Kyleen Junier
- Jamila Holston
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