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About Our People Legal Stuff

Young woman in DACA program worries about future, looks for other option to stay in US



FLINT, Mich. (WSMH) - There are nearly 800,000 immigrants on eggshells right now. They have been dubbed Dreamers but some worry their dreams won't have a happy ending.

Thursday is the deadline for Congress to make a decision on the fate of Dreamers.

A new budget could include a solution for people living here legally through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

WSMH spoke to a Flint, Michigan local who was just 8-years-old when her mother brought her to the states. She wanted to conceal her identity but says she wants her story heard.

"I was a baby when I was in Jamaica," she said.

After she was born, an adoption took her across the Atlantic to northern England. Her mother got re-married and took her to Ghana. Then on April 22, 2000, when she was just 8-years-old, her grandmother sent for her and she came onto U.S. soil with a visitors visa, one she overstayed by 13 years.

But thanks to DACA, she attained legal status again in 2013 which allowed her to work and drive. Right now, she's balancing three jobs.

She says she's never left the country since she arrived in 2000.

"I have never left. If I left, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be talking to you," she said. "I always think about my family and going back to visit but America is my home."


Her mother arrived in the states a few months later in August 2000.

Most people think about America bringing dreams to life but, at that point, it brought nightmares.

Her mother's new American boyfriend sexually and physically abused her.

"A lot of memories and stuff I have blocked out, like the first 12 years of my life because I went through sexual abuse and what not here in the U.S."

They eventually got out of that situation. Her mom got remarried again and was able to get herself a green card but she never filed for her daughter.

"It just never worked out, unfortunately," she explains. Her mother's failure to follow through with her application when she was minor left her at risk of deportation as she entered adulthood.

"Resentment, I did. Time heals all wounds though," she said.

Now, in 2018, this young woman worries about what Congress and President Donald Trump will, or will not, do for those under DACA.

Time is running out. In about a month, 800,000 young people living here legally through DACA, will one by one, start to lose that legal status.

"There's fear, there is fear because I don't know anywhere else but here, this is home," said the woman.

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