A.B.C - American By Choice
DACA stands for
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
If you immigrated to the United States as a child with your parents, you were most likely unaware that leaving the country you were born in for another one without proper paperwork was illegal. Now you are an adult without a green card trying to figure out how to become a citizen of your home.
To help aid this, during his term, President Obama introduced DACA which would protect young immigrants from deportation as they go about completing the legalization process in the United States. In 2016, President Donald Trump moved to rescind DACA, and since, thousands of young men and women who were once granted DACA would have it taken away. This means they would no longer be protected from deportation.
I was a Dreamer once...
I was afraid to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, a lot.
There are close family members I didn't meet until I was a young adult.
I was unaware that I was undocumented for many years.
I watched people on the news debating whether I belonged in this country or not.
There were jobs I really wanted that I couldn't get because of my status.
I paid for my college education out of pocket with money saved from an under-the-table job because I was not eligible for financial aid.
Today, two years ago, I became an American By Choice, a naturalized citizen. It was a big accomplishment in my life; something that I so deeply felt. I tried not to cry during the ceremony but it was super emotional. It was as if a big and dark cloudy sky cleared up for good. It is hard to be happy today because every day I think about the people that are still living in uncertainty and have to plan their futures today.
DACA is now being reinstated and the decision came after a judge in California issued a nationwide mandate on Tuesday ordering the Trump administration to resume the DACA program. Don't be fooled though, the fight is never over, especially when so many lives are at risk of being turned all the way the f*ck upside down. Learn about what you can do to help on FWD.US or simply share my story with others to educate them on DACA and immigration in the United States.
Originally published on January 12, 2016
Today I joined 120 other permanent residents in crossing over and becoming U.S citizens! The beautiful ceremony happened in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia.
I was born in the Dominican Republic and remained a citizen of the country until today. When I first learned that I was undocumented, I became ashamed of my story and my status.I never spoke about it because of the way I thought I would be perceived. I would watch the news and think "I am one of those people they are talking about! They can't decide whether my being here is beneficial to this country or not."
The US clearly can't get it together when it comes to immigration and even with that knowledge, I became an American By Choice (A.B.C) today and took an oath to protect and serve this country still because I know that here and now I can officially BE THE CHANGE I WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.
"We Were Strangers Once, Too" - Barack Obama
Dress: ML Monique Lhuillier. Shoes: Alice and Olivi