Behind The Scenes On Process

Fighting for a Dream | Themba Moalusi

Imagine spending four to five years working towards your undergrad degree, in hopes of  walking across a graduation stage to accept your diploma. Then imagine waking up the next day unaware how you will secure a job in the United States because of your alien status. This is what CCSU student Selena might be heading towards. For privacy reasons, the woman that was interviewed will be referenced as Selena. Right now she is a junior and studying Spanish. Her goal after she graduates is to become a Spanish teacher. By 2020, she should be done with school.
Selena was born in Mexico but has lived in the United States since her parents crossed the border when she was three years old. Selena is a petite Latina woman. She has sculpted cheek bones. A big smile. She is sporting bob hairstyle, which looks nice with her brunette hair color. Her parents came to the United States so that their family could pursue the American Dream. She was raised in a middle-class household, and her family have two small businesses. Selena is a dreamer, she currently holds a DACA permit, which allows her to further her education. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and was established by the Obama administration in 2012.
The program allows individuals who were brought to the United States as children to further their education by going to college. During President Obama’s term these adolescents, who are often called “dreamers”, were able to make their college aspirations a reality.
Selena began to reminisce on her younger years before this act was made. “College is unusual in our family. College wasn’t something I thought possible. Eventually the idea of going to college changed over time. Relief came once DACA was announced. I was a sophomore in high school.” College was becoming more of a reality and she was ready to embark on this journey.
Her journey was rocky in the beginning; her guidance counselor didn’t know how to guide her. “Luckily I had my brother to help me and persuaded me to apply for DACA…He too is in DACA, so I was able to rely on him for guidance.” Through her brother she was able to get connected with the organization called Connecticut Students for a Dream (CT4D). The organization helps students through the program process, as well as meet fellow dreamers. Being a part of CT4D allowed her to participate in rallies and events.
This program became a stepping stone for immigrants achieving their rights while living in the United States. Along with being an active student dreamers can obtain a work permit and driver licenses. DACA changes dreamers lives, but it has a lot of flaws in it. Selena stated, “There isn’t a path for citizenship, so it’s just a temporary permit.” Every two years a dreamer has to renew their application with a $465 fee.
It looked like DACA was going to remain an active program, but President Trump had other plans in mind. In 2017 Trump announced that he is going to end DACA. Selena recalls the moment when she was with her family and heard the news; she was plagued by fear. She thought about her brother who is going to graduate in the spring of 2018 and what would be his options moving forward. Selena began contemplating how she would finish her studies, since she couldn’t renew her DACA.
“I didn’t have the chance to renew my application because I renewed my application last year, so it will expire in November 2018.”  At the moment there isn’t a replacement for the program, but Congress is attempting to draft a bill that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on.
The unknown is frightening for dreamers because their future is determined by politicians, who are currently having trouble finding a compromise. Selena said, “Before DACA I was someone and after DACA I’m still someone.” Right now she’s being optimistic that by 2018 there will be a new act that would provide citizenship for herself and brother. There have been conversations amongst her family about moving back to Mexico, but she hopes that doesn’t need to happen. Selena is going to continue to hard work in school. She won’t stop being a dreamer. Over 800,000 dreamers and their supporters are going to use their collective voice, and make Congress realize that dreamers need a path to citizenship to keep America great.

Blue Muse Magazine is a general interest literary magazine published by the students of the English Department at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut. We publish poetry, fiction, and a gamut of creative nonfiction on anything and everything the blue muse inspires us to write.

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