A UF DREAMer Speaks Out

The University of Florida is home to many students who are referred to as DREAMers, individuals who were brought without documentation to the United States at an early age, who have assimilated to U.S. culture and have been educated by U.S. school systems.

In 2012, President Obama signed the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) directive, which protected these productive members of society from immigration enforcement. Trump has announced that DACA will end in six months. In the meantime, Congress can act and pass a bill protecting DREAMers.

One such DREAMer, an accomplished student at the University of Florida, shared her exceptional story with Indivisible Gainesville, as well as her heartbreaking anxiety that has only spiked in the wake of Trump’s announcement.

I am a DREAMer. My family entered the United States from Ecuador when I was two years old and I haven’t returned to my home country since I was six. I speak English more fluently than I do Spanish. America is my home regardless of what some Americans call me.

The sacrifices my parents have made for me are too many to mention, but because of their hard work, I have never taken my education for granted. I have always sought to better myself as a person, I am a candidate for a doctoral program at the University of Florida, hold leadership positions in student organizations, work as a teaching assistant, and have been accepted to prestigious programs within my major at premier universities. I believe there is incredible value in education and I make sure that all my actions, up to this point and beyond, showcase just how much I value my own. I will use my education to help to decrease health disparities in our nation, but I cannot do that if DACA is removed.

DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has allowed me to do what I love and has given me a chance to achieve all my dreams. I have not taken any of that for granted. I have worked tremendously hard to study here in the United States and have grown to become a confident, educated, and resilient woman because of the opportunities that would not have been plausible in my home country.

I believe I hold one of the best attributes in a student: the willingness to get back up after falling down. However, it would be extremely difficult to get back up if DACA is removed. I would be sent back to what is essentially a foreign country to me. I am living the American dream; I have worked so hard to have this stripped away from me for no sensible reason. This is my home. Please don’t make me leave it.

How can you help?

  • Call your Senators and tell them to co-sponsor the bipartisan Durbin-Graham “DREAM Act” (S. 1615) to create a legislative fix to the predicament of these young Americans, and take their future out of Trump’s hands.
  • Call your House Representative and tell her/him to co-sponsor Rep. Gutierrez’s American Hope Act (H.R. 3591) give those with DACA and others who arrived in the United States as children a path to permanent legal status and eventual citizenship.

Need help finding your members of congress?

Visit this link, enter your information and hit submit. It’s that easy.

For more information on DACA and how to talk to your members of congress, visit this link on the Indivisible Guide website.

Indivisible Gainesville stands in solidarity with America’s DREAMers.

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