For more than 700,000 young adults in the United States, the celebration of this year’s Easter is different than past years. Hope and Faith plays a bigger role in their daily lives more than ever due to the anti-immigrant political climate that we are living in the United States
The presidential elections left a sour taste to the DREAMers, all those young adults who qualified under former president Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals, also known as DACA. President Trump’s anti-immigrants rhetoric is what has caused fear amongst these group of young adults.
DACA allows qualifying immigrants to work legally in the U.S. by granting a Social Security Number and by protecting them from deportation. However, it would only take one signature from President Trump to cancel the program, leaving thousands of these recipients in danger of being deported and losing what they’ve worked hard for.
“I literally cried when I saw the elections results, I was at work watching with my co-workers… they could clearly see tears rolling down my cheeks,” said Angela Hernandez, a San Jose State student graduate who is able to work through the DACA program.
Hernandez arrived from Guadalajara, Mexico when she was five years old. She hasn’t gone back since then and doesn’t plan on leaving to Mexico even if President Trump removes DACA. “The next day [of the election] I woke up and it was a strange feeling, a reality that I wish it was just a nightmare but it wasn’t…I’ve been in this country for 18 years and i’ve never felt this way,” Hernandez said.
Throughout his whole campaign president Trump would say how he was against Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals and many feared he would remove it as soon as he was elected president.
“I mean my biggest fear was not being able to work legally in the U.S. I was able to get a job after college through DACA… I thought to myself, I went through hard times to get my Bachelor’s degree, so all of that for nothing at the end?,” Hernandez said.
However, Oscar Mancera, a third-year Engineering student at SJSU doesn’t believe President Trump will hurt the DREAMers. “I’m a person that believes in God and through many times in my life having faith and believing that God has its ways that has helped me overcome difficulties, that’s why I’m not scared…everything happens for a reason,” Mancera said.
DREAMers like Hernandez and Mancera are holding onto faith and the hope that President Trump’s perception of immigrants changes so that they continue to contribute to this country’s economy. “All we do is work and be good to this great nation that has given us a lot and we are thankful which is why we also contribute…we pay taxes too, we are law-abiding immigrants,” Hernandez said.