I needed a job after high school to help my family and to be able to pay for college. I opened my computer to fill out job applications and questionnaires from Safeway, Old Navy and Target. What's your name and address? Do you have a high school diploma? What would you do if a customer needs help? I breezed through the questions until I got to the one that read, "Please enter your social security number." I didn't have one.
Sitting in my room I remember feeling so frustrated because I was born in another country. A place I don't remember and haven't visited since I was two. Because I don't have legal status, I couldn't do even the simplest things that my friends could do. I had never been able to find a job that paid me at least minimum wage. Pell Grants were not an option. Plus, I had a never ending fear of getting my life taken away from me.
That all changed when the Obama Administration announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA. It allows immigrant youth to get social security number, and a two-year work permit.
I applied for the new status and got it. A month and a half later, I had three job offers. And the job I picked pays me hourly plus commission. I could finally start saving to transfer to a four-year university.
My new immigration status was a dream come true, but it's one I might have to wake up from. I'm not on a path to citizenship. The status is supposed be renewable, but the program might not even be here in two years when a new President is elected.