Ever since Trump and his administration took office, I feared for my future as a DACA recipient. When Trump in 2017 rescinded DACA — a program that President Obama implemented eight years ago — my anxiety went through the roof. I was trying to figure out what was going to happen with me, my child and my future.
My biggest fear was being deported back to my motherland — a county I don’t know. I hardly remember anything from Mexico.
On November 12, 2019, I had the privilege to camp outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC and witness the oral arguments from the nine judges. Some were positive and some were negative. Ever since that day — until today — I had to live through this extended state of limbo over the program’s status
June 18, 2020 has to be one of my best birthdays. I woke up to great news. DACA didn’t end!! In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme rejected President Trump’s attempt to rid of the program, which protects 800,000 people in this country.
SCOTUS gave us the opportunity to continue to have DACA. The justices knew it would have been an instant revolution if they ended the program.
“Since 2012, DACA recipients have enrolled in degree programs, embarked on careers, started businesses, purchased homes, and even married and had children, all in reliance” on the DACA program, Justice JohnRoberts wrote in an opinion joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
“The consequences of the rescission, [advocates] emphasize, would ‘radiate outward’ to DACA recipients’ families, including their 200,000 U.S.-citizen children, to the schools where DACA recipients study and teach, and to the employers who have invested time and money in training them. . . In addition, excluding DACA recipients from the lawful labor force may, they tell us, result in the loss of $215 billion in economic activity and an associated $60 billion in federal tax revenue over the next ten years.”
This ruling will allow me to reach my dreams. I can continue to pursue my education as a psychology major. I can look forward to starting my career as a future school counselor. And I can continue to provide for my son and support my parents.
“Today’s decision is an important victory, for now, for the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers — including over 200,000 Californians — who contribute deeply to their communities each day,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are our neighbors, our coworkers and our friends, and in California, we will continue to have their backs.
The light of hope I had for this outcome never vanished. It stayed with me.
But this is a small victory. We still have a battle to win, and that is a path to citizenship — not only for the 800,000 DACA beneficiaries but to all 11 million undocumented folks who contribute to this country.
Newsom said in a statement that California needs a “permanent solution” for undocmented people in the state.
“This moment reminds us we are confronting the systemic injustice and racism that exists within our nation and institutions,” Newsom said. “We will fight for everyone to be treated with dignity and respect.”
My message to my community and the whole world is to continue fighting because #homeishere, and we are not going anywhere.
Obama wrote on Twitter in response to the ruling, “Eight years ago this week, we protected young people who were raised as part of our American family from deportation. Today, I’m happy for them, their families, and all of us. We may look different and come from everywhere, but what makes us American are our shared ideals.”
Kern Sol News is a youth-led journalism organization in Kern County. In their stories, reporters shine light on health and racial disparities in under-served communities across Kern. For more stories by South Kern Sol, head to southkernsol.org.