I am proud to be from the South. I tell everybody I’m a Latino that grew up eating tortillas and grits at the same time, and North Georgia is home.
I volunteer with the Boy Scouts here. I’m a huge Braves fan, I go to just about two games a week. I’ve attended the Nova Vida First Baptist Church since high school. I’ve learned great values such as loving God, loving thy neighbor. This is the greatest community to raise a family and a great example of what America should be. To me, it’s the greatest place on Earth. I pray to God that I will be able to achieve my biggest endeavor which is to go to law school at UGA. Go Dogs! And for somebody to say, ‘Hey, you can’t get in-state tuition’–it was really heartbreaking. I felt out of place.
When DACA was announced, it was a life-changing experience.
I finally was able to get a job that paid $13 an hour at one of the biggest carpet distribution centers in Georgia. I was able to save up more money to go to college, and instead of taking one class at a time, I’ve been taking two or three. People complain about being stuck in traffic, but I thank God for that. I thank DACA for that because I have the opportunity to travel wherever I want without anybody telling me no and saying, “You can’t go there.”
With DACA, I felt that I finally was given a decent chance to be somebody in this country, to contribute to my state, to contribute to my community, in the greatest country on Earth.
I currently intern at a governmental affairs firm and I do a lot of work at the State Capitol. I interact with Republicans mostly and a few Democrats also. A lot of them, believe it or not, don’t know what DACA is. I explain to them that DACA is a very rigorous thing to get. You have to go through a background check, you have to be a good person in our society, and it’s only a work visa for two years. And it’s nothing permanent. It could be taken away tomorrow. After getting to know them and interacting with them, getting to know their families even, they realize that I’m in a tough boat. They believe the federal government should step up and do their job and find a solution.
If President Trump and Congress doesn’t find a solution that will fix this issue, then the country will suffer. DACA recipients are individuals who give back to their community, who are involved in their churches, who have PhDs, who have been creating jobs and who just want to make this country a better place.
My name is Jaime R. I was born in Mexico, but I came to this country when I was only three months old.