Local Dreamers face uncertainty if DACA ends

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Over 5,000 people in Alabama applied for the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Only 500 of those applicants qualified to reapply.

Ulises Martinez-Aguilar is a Dreamer. He said with DACA, he's been able to get a social security number, a driver's license, work two jobs and become a part-time college student at the same time.

"Its opened a lot of doors for people who want to become something more for themselves," he said.

Martinez-Aguilar said where he was born in Mexico City was too dangerous. His parents brought his family to the United States when he was four years old, in search of a better life.

"This is home you know, it's somewhere where I've lived, and lived as everybody else. I just want them to know that we've been here our whole lives, and really we have no where else to go," he explained.

Yenipher Soriano has a similar story, coming to the United States with her family when she was also four years old. She's lived in Decatur since then, and doesn't remember Mexico.

"I have three children, my family's here, I'm established here. I would like to go to college and become a nurse, but that wouldn't be possible if DACA is taken away," she said.

For many of these Dreamers,the end of DACA means making difficult decisions. Decisions that involve Soriano's three kids. Decisions that could tear families apart.

"It's something I've really thought about, and I don't know what I would do. Because I would want them to be with me, but at the same time I don't want to take away their opportunity to stay here, to get a good education. This is where they were born, and this is all they know," Soriano explained.

Andrea Garcia graduated from Huntsville High School, and Drake State with an engineering graphics degree. She's lived in Huntsville for over half her life.

"If DACA ends it actually means the end of my dreams," she said.

Dreams that involve leading by example. Garcia's goal was to teach her daughter that she too could get a degree, and a job doing what she loves. But that won't happen if DACA is rescinded, and Garcia won't be allowed to continue using her own degree.

"I don't have a problem of coming back and working in a restaurant six days a week, I don't mind. But I really mind showing my daughter that what I studied for, I'm not going to use it," said Garcia.

Thousands of other Dreamers have similar stories, and they are all facing the same fears when it comes to DACA's future.

For those who qualify, the deadline to renew your DACA status is October 5th.

Trending Stories