Maria C, 32, Los Angeles, CA, Born in Nayarit, Mexico
My 1,500-mile journey to the U.S., the place I now call home began when I was only four. My father was already living in the States and, after years of painful separation, my parents decided it was best for the family to be together. My mother loaded me and five siblings in the car and we made the long, hard trip from Nayarit to the United States. Since I was so small, I remember fitting in the back of the seat cushion facing the trunk. We were all scared. It was a huge life-threatening risk for all of us. Despite the danger, we were determined to come and we made it across the border. Now, 28 years later, as a mother of two teenagers, I realize why my parents made it their mission to keep their family together and to make a new life in America.
When President Obama announced DACA, I was overc
ome with joy. Finally, I could secure the documents I needed to get a better job and provide for my children. I had to get my paperwork in order and sell some personal things for the money I needed to apply, but eight months later, I was ready and I was approved. Thanks to DACA, I have a work permit, driver’s license and Social Security card. I can pay my taxes, purchase a car and open a savings account. My family’s future looks so much brighter. I’m telling everyone I know who would qualify for DACA to not be afraid, to sign up – do it for yourself and for your children.