BY GUEST BLOGGER | August 19, 2014
The following is a part of a series of reflections by Jesuit university students and graduates who have received temporary immigration status through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which was established by the Obama administration in 2012. On Friday, August 1, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to rescind DACA status.
written by: Gabriela Garcia Cruz | University of San Francisco ‘G14
My life, well my life is difficult to describe without giving my testimony. I am just like anyone else. I have moments of happiness, laughter, and sadness; but the one thing that does separate me is my reality. A reality that was altered two years ago with President Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). I am what most people refer to as a DREAMER. I am an undocumented person fighting for justice and survival.
Although, life is still difficult and I often worry a lot about my livelihood, I can say DACA has lifted some weight off my shoulders. Life before DACA consisted of terror simply because of my existence in a country that doesn’t accept people like me. I often wonder if those people put themselves in my shoes? I wonder if they know what it feels like to be so terrified that the only escape is silence. The silence of my existence killed my spirituality. I had been so oppressed by others imagine of myself that I started internalize that pain. As I mentioned I recalled that day, June 12th, 2013 because that day I re-awoke to my own acceptance.
It is amazing that a valid social security card, a drivers license, and the opportunity to work could make me feel so free. This may be so silly to some, but I remember driving and having a police officer right behind me. My hands were sweaty, my heart was racing and I felt a tear drop roll down my cheek all the way to my chest. This was an everyday feeling for me, however this time I cried more. I cried because for the first time in my life I didn’t worry about ending up in jail. I didn’t have to worry about having handcuffs around my wrist, I didn’t have to be terrified about not having the opportunity of telling my mother I loved her. I didn’t have to worry about any of that because I was FREE.
Life without DACA would signify a flashback to the past. I refuse to live life with that type of fear anymore. Many may think about my ability to choose whether I am here or not. They may say that people like myself face that as a consequence of our actions. However, the only crime I have committed is to fight for the opportunity to finally have a home with the acceptance of others.