Rosa H, 19, Tulsa, OK, Born in Mexico
I was really lucky to attend a high school with a strong tradition of acceptance. Booker T. Washington High was one of the first to be integrated during the civil rights movement. Even though I didn’t have DACA when I graduated in 2014, counselors and teachers were very helpful to me. In fact, they guided me through the DACA process so I could qualify and get a work permit, driver’s license and Social Security number.
With the necessary papers, I was able to find a job at a local plant nursery in May 2015. I like the work and I’m learning a lot. It’s calming being immersed in nature, in helping grow things.
My mom brought my older brother and me to the States when I was four. She doesn’t like to talk about the trip and I don’t remember it. I live with my mom and near my five siblings, four of whom were born in this country. I grew up helping take care of my brothers and sisters while my mom worked.
Family is everything to me. We manage because we take care of each other and work hard. I’d like to attend college to study psychology. I want to help others. I somehow remain hopeful, always looking on the bright side, despite the ugly anti-immigrant political rhetoric. My brother and I attended a Bernie Sanders rally recently. Though we can’t vote, we can work for candidates and support registration efforts. Perhaps, someday we will be given the rights we’re earning every day.
I’ve always been anxious and perhaps it comes from living with so much uncertainty for so many years. At least now, my brother and I have DACA, but my mom and so many others still worry about what will happen next. In fact, we all worry about this because though deferred action is most welcome, it’s not a permanent solution. It’s not residency or citizenship. But it does give me hope.