How does Obama’s June 15th announcement impact a dreamer?
I was brought to the U.S. from Brazil by my parents at the age of nine. Hoping to grant my two younger siblings and I a better life, my parents sought to obtain legal status here. Unfortunately, they were notified by several attorneys that there were no laws that permitted them to do so. They stayed in the U.S, and I ended up living here most of my life, and this is indeed my home regardless of the limitations of being undocumented. Once I graduated high school, I couldn’t legally attend the college of my choice even though I had a 4.3 GPA. Thankfully, I got into a community college that did not require citizenship, and have since been able to transfer over to a local university. I still have to pay the out of state tuition without being eligible for federal financial aid. I have not been able to legally work, travel, or drive, though I have been living here for almost 20 years. Overall, I feel like the toughest part of this process was seeing my parents and brother deported about four years ago.
In spite of this hardship, I give glory to Christ for sustaining me and my sister in the midst of all that has happened. I’m thankful that God has provided me with the support of my Christian family in Miami, specifically, Urban Resurrection, a local CCD organization under InnerChange, where I have served for several years.
I felt supported and encouraged from the broader Christian community after receiving word from a friend that groups of Christian organizations and leaders gathered together to call on elected representatives of both parties to fix the U.S.’s broken immigration system and protect “the stranger” whom Christ calls us to defend (Matthew 25:35). Days later, on Friday June 15th, this nation’s immigration policy suddenly became more fair and just. Nearly one million undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children were granted the opportunity to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation under a new policy initiated by the Obama administration. I’m extremely grateful for this because I am amongst those who are directly affected by this policy.
The Obama administration’s policy was a step in the right direction, but we must continue to advocate for this cause and push Congress to do its long delayed and still urgent job; to pass the Development Relief Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act), which will bring about a more permanent solution to this imperative issue.