FWD.us Statement on Sixth Anniversary of DACA Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Since its creation six years ago, the DACA program has allowed roughly 800,000 young people who came to the United States as children and meet stringent background requirements to contribute to communities across the country. The following statements are from four DACA recipients who work at FWD.us on how DACA has changed their lives: Pamela Chomba, Daniela Chomba, Leezia Dhalla and Maria Praeli. Without a legislative solution, all could be forced out of their jobs and face deportation to countries they barely remember:

“DACA allows me to have the courage to participate in my local community. With my protections, I have been able to volunteer my time, invest my creative energy to support local businesses and engage with my faith community without fear of removal to a country I barely remember. DACA gives me extra support to better serve my community and help make our nation a better place.” —Pamela Chomba, Northeast Organizing Director

“DACA for me is both a beginning and an end. It is the beginning of my dreams and aspirations coming true, and the end of thinking this country, my country, doesn’t care for me as much as I do for it.” —Daniela Chomba, Operations Associate

“For six years DACA has been my lifeline, allowing me to become gainfully employed, pay off tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, and build the career I’ve dreamed of since moving to this country nearly 22 years ago. But now, my future — and the future of DACA — is more uncertain than ever. In a matter of weeks, the program could be fully terminated, crumbling my hard-earned financial independence and the peace of mind that has enabled me to more fully contribute to my community.” —Leezia Dhalla, Press Manager

“The United States has been my home since I was five years old. Learning I was undocumented when I was younger was devastating — it seemed like my dreams and aspirations would not be achievable because I lacked proper documentation. DACA changed everything for me. It allowed me to feel safe from deportation in the country that is my home, and to pursue my professional career. Six years later I can’t imagine my life without the program, and I’m feeling extremely anxious about what my future will look like without it.” —Maria Praeli, Immigration Policy Associate

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