When I was 9 years old, my big brother was deported the day after his high school graduation. My other brother couldn't afford to pay out-of-state college tuition, despite being smart and ambitious. They did not have DACA or ASSET to protect them or offer hope and opportunities. After watching my big brothers, I didn't believe I would be able to go to college myself. There were times when I almost gave up.
So many things have changed. A lot of schools have declared themselves sanctuary campuses and will not give out information to ICE. The announcement of the ASSET program changed my life.
But while I may be temporarily safe due to having DACA, I know that my fight is not finished. The new administration has said many negative things about immigrants. Both the border wall and the Muslim ban make me feel unwelcome and unsafe in a country that has been my home for 15 years. I live in constant fear that I will start college only to have fellow students or faculty expose me to government officials. Discrimination is hard to overcome and if discrimination comes from fellow students, I fear that I will give up.
With these fears foremost in my mind, I have to draw upon the support systems in my life to get to college graduation. My family has helped me on the road to success and is only one phone call away. Also, my RMIAN attorney, Elizabeth, offers her services no matter how busy she can be. With these support systems in place, I will never quit fighting.
But my biggest motivation, what keeps me fighting, is my commitment to become a lawyer. I will not leave anyone else to drown.
- D.A., RMIAN client, unDACAmented student, college-bound future lawyer
Thanks to College Track for collecting this client's testimony.