My name is Jose, I am from California, and I am a Dreamer. I’ve been living in the United States since I first came here at age of five, so for sixteen years. When I was a kid my family didn’t know English, nor did they have enough resources to learn; therefore, my siblings and I had to be translators for our parents. We would translate for them everyday, whether it was at a Walmart or a Target, essentially anywhere outside the house. Translating became our biggest responsibility.
I didn’t really know that I was undocumented until I was in high school. When a lot people started applying for college, I asked my parents which school they recommended, but they couldn’t offer that much help because they hadn’t gotten education past middle school. At one point they broke it down to me. I had the grades to get accepted into universities, the only thing I was missing was documentation.
For me, being a Dreamer is a way of living the American dream. That dream means different things for many people, but everyone’s vision of it shares the common thread of starting off with nothing and overcoming tremendous obstacles in order to become successful. Living the American dream means being able to get an education, it means being able to help and provide for my family. It became a reality for me with DACA, which offered me the incredible opportunity to escape the shadows and to fulfill my parent’s dream of obtaining a college education.
The dream wouldn’t be complete without being able to contribute back to the community that raised me. If there is one thing I have realized in life, it’s that everyone needs a role model, but the best role model is someone who has overcome the same challenges you’re going through.
My DACA expires in October. The fact that DACA renewals are still available is a critical lifeline for me. I never really thought about what the plan without DACA is, so I don’t know what I would do. What I do know is that the loss of DACA would be devastating because every community is going to be heavily impacted. I call America home because this is all I have known, my best memories are here, and most importantly my friends and family are here with me.