I am a student at UCLA and an undocumented immigrant.
I came to the United States with my mom and my siblings in 2000 because the poverty in Mexico was really extreme. On top of that, my father was a very abusive person. One time he threatened my mother and told her, “If you ever leave me, I will kill you.” It was then that my mother made the courageous choice to move to this country so she could work, support my siblings and I, and send us to school.
My dream in high school was to be an aerospace engineer. I remember the day I received acceptance letters from my dream schools, like U.C. Berkeley and Cal Poly, telling me I had been admitted to their aerospace engineering programs. I looked at those letters and cried, knowing that I could not qualify for financial aid as an undocumented student.
Two years ago, I received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects me from deportation and allows me to go to school for two years. But I know that DACA is not enough. My mother has sacrificed so much for my safety and education and my family lives in constant fear of deportation, yet there is no path for them to pursue legal residency in the U.S.
I know that DACA is only a small patch, trying to fix a system that needs a complete overhaul. The time is now for us to act on immigration reform.