Financial Hardship / Making History / Stories

Diana S.

Diana S, 29, Los Angeles, CA Born in Mexico

dianaI’ve been working hard since I was 16. It’s one reason I didn’t finish high school until I was 20. Now I have three small children of my own and work full-time so it’s hard to continue my education. Taking care of my kids is my primary focus. I work as a quality control inspector in the garment industry. Thankfully, the children’s father is a big help.

I was brought to the States by my mom when I was only two. My father was already here. Together they had six children. Though I’m close with my mom and siblings, my father was abusive. My mom has applied for a special visa established for victims of domestic violence. Not long ago, my father was deported so our family has less turmoil.

DACA made a real difference in my life. Though I’ve always worked in the garment industry, now I have a better position and I have some rights. Before DACA, I worked long hours for little money in a Korean garment factory. I had no papers so I was paid in cash. There are a lot of women like me who do what they have to do to take care of their family. The jobs are hard and conditions are bad. But I was happy to have work.

When I can, I hope to continue my education and would like to become a nurse. I’ve always wanted to help people and I certainly want to give back to my community. Mostly, I want to give my children a better life, just like my mom. They are all U.S. citizens and I want them to have a good education and the opportunities I’m still hoping to attain.

I have no memories of any other country, so America is my home and I would like to feel more welcome because I belong here, because I take care of my family, because I’m a good person with a lot of potential. Certainly, the nation needs nurses and I would be a dedicated caregiver.