DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was implemented in the summer of 2012. Since then more than half a million people applied for DACA. These so called DREAMers got a taste of what the life can be like if they would become permanent residents or citizens of this country. Unfortunately, this is only a little taste of what it means to feels to be accepted simply because DACA is and was meant to be a temporary fix to an immigration problem that this country currently faces. This year all those who were approved for DACA are anxiously expecting for either a renewal of their immigration status or some kind of comprehensive immigration reform.
Two yeas have passed since the DREAMers got an opportunity to spread their wings, even if just a little. Many took opportunity that was given to them and tried their best to progress. Priscilla Muller is one of those DREAMers who had her goal in sight and she is slowly but surely moving towards it.
Last year she was one of the young people Hola America featured on our 6-part series about the DREAMers.
Priscilla Muller assures that her life has changed greatly since receiving her approval for DACA. As most of the DREAMers she finally could get a good job that can offer great opportunities for her future. But more than anything she is grateful for a peace of mind that DACA gave her.
“I was able to feel free, to know that I was in no danger of deportation,” Muller said.
Having this kind of assurance helps people to finally reach out and try to achieve their dreams. Muller is doing just that. At the moment she is attending Black Hawk College. She will be graduating in May of next year. An associate degree is jus a stepping stone on her way towards her dream because after finishing BHC she is planning to transfer to Western Illinois University where she will major in early childhood education.
Because DACA is supposed to be a temporary fix to immigration problem, DREAMers have no right to apply for neither Financial Aide nor Student Loans. Most of these young people work to pay for their education.
“It can be very stressful to go to school and work at the same time. It seems like I hardly have time for myself,” Priscilla Muller shares her struggles.
Regardless Priscilla is very grateful of the opportunity given to her by Ascentra Credit Union. Priscilla has worked there since she received her work permit on 2012 as an Account Representative –Teller. “I feel very privileged it is an amazing environment to work at! I love the people I work with” she added.
This is a sentiment of most DACA recipients. There are a lot of hardships, but most refuse to give up. As Muller explained that no matter the cost of education and hardships, in the long run she knows she will greatly benefit from this experience.
This year all these young people will be trying to renew their immigration status. At the moment there are a lot more questions than answers. Yes, the DREAMers would love to get a chance to become permanent residents and then citizens of this country which for most of them is the only place they know as home. Yes, they want to continue progressing and ultimately becoming contributing member of the society. All they ask for is chance to continue with their progress.
As for Priscilla Muller she dreams of one day becoming a teacher. As she says in her own words, “Of course we only got a work permit but it would be lovely to be able to become a resident of the USA because I believe we qualify.”
Photos by Vey Rodriguez