“It’s especially important for students that have grown up here and don’t have another home.”
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Transcript for Real Dreamers
There was talk of the Dream Act. Especially in Waukegan, since there are so many Hispanic students there. Oh man, it was something very big. Everybody was really excited. I know they wanted it to be passed for especially students because it’s made for students who were brought here by their parents like I was, and aren’t able to continue their education because they don’t have a social security number, or they can’t drive, or find a job… And so, it’s especially important, I think, for those students that have grown up here, don’t have another home, and want to continue to study but can’t.
There’s a series of rules for those students, however, to be qualified as, like, real ‘Dreamers.’ You would have to be here the last five years and prove that you’ve been here. I think you’ve had to be under eighteen years old, had gone to a U.S., like, high school, and there may have been some other things that you may have to prove.
Some states did look into having it maybe just the state have a fund for those students to continue to study. And I know it was something big in Illinois. And California, I’ve seen a lot going on with their state and trying to work with undocumented students. But other things since the Dream Act hasn’t passed federally have been brought up by especially [President] Obama. I know he approved the deferred action status for students [DACA]. And I was able to apply for that, and I was granted it this past spring which gives students a social security number which they can then use to work and get a license. And the deferred part of this action is that they won’t be deported. However, being in this status doesn’t grant you any leeway or open up doors to become a U.S. citizen or resident at all. So you’re still at a standstill. The only thing is that if there was an immigration reform to happen or some type of amnesty, then the students who are deferred action students would be the first to receive their — or become U.S. citizens.
My parents had tried before when I was younger. One of the things they wanted to do was have my aunt adopt me since she’s a U.S. citizen when I was little. And so they went to a lawyer and asked about that, and the lawyer said, ‘That would take too long. I mean, it’s really not worth it.’ But later when I was older and doing my own research, and I talked to the immigration specialist, she said, ‘You should’ve done that a long time ago. You would’ve been eligible now as a U.S. citizen.’ And so again, that is where I also blame my parents, like why didn’t you do something sooner about it? But I can’t blame them because they did what they thought was best for me.