Jossie C, 21, Los Angeles, Born in Guatemala
What I remember most about the 2500-mile journey my grandma and I made from Guatemala to the Mexican border was being afraid – afraid of the authorities, scared of the “coyotes” who were paid to get us into the States and terrified of being separated. I was only three and my abuela had been my mother since my parents had departed for the U.S. to make a life for us. We were all supposed to be together again, but we had to first get across the border. Only one of us made it. When my grandmother was turned back, I was left with total strangers, a child in between two countries, wondering if I would ever see my grandmother or parents again. I had no idea what was to become of me. It was a moment I will never forget.
For me, the story has a good ending. I was reunited with both my parents and my grandmother. I have grown up in Los Angeles with my brother and sister – all of us determined to get an education. With my bilingual skills, I now intern for a Hispanic marketing communications firm and have plans to go to college. When DACA was first introduced, I wasn’t sure I could trust anyone, but I was encouraged by my parents and motivated by my own desire to fully realize my potential. With the help of an attorney, I signed up for DACA and was accepted into the program. I now have the documents I need to succeed: driver’s license, work permit and Social Security card. Currently, I’m in the process of renewing DACA online. Taking advantage of DACA has made a real difference in my life and I’m sharing my story in the hopes that other Dreamers will join me.