How DACA Changed My Family’s Future

Back to Article
Back to Article

How DACA Changed My Family’s Future

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Imagine yourself coming into the United States in hopes of having a better life than the one in your homeland. But then you have the fear of being an illegal immigrant and of being deported by the immigration. Everyday and every moment you think of this fear but you want to live in the country. You have a daughter at the age of four and want to provide her a better education for a better future because you care for her. There are many immigrants with this same issue and many are afraid of deportation. My family is one of those families dealing with this situation.

My mother was one of those mothers with that fear and with a child to have thought of at the time. Sofia Raquel Zelaya is a mother of three children that lives in San Pedro, California. She is a 40-years-old woman of God and has been a Christian for her whole life as well as her family. Her daughter and herself came from El Salvador to the United States in 2001 and have been here to this day. She came by Visa, which she worked very hard to get, for herself and her daughter to go by airplane, since that was the best way of transportation. My sister was four at the time and she did not know what was happening but what she recalls happening is,

“I remember the airplane..getting on the airplane..while on the airplane I felt sick like I wanted to throw up. I remember going into the restroom and then going back to our seats. I looked out the window and remember seeing many many lights.”

She also told me that she did not know where she was going but as long as she was with her mother, then she would be okay. She did not have the slightest clue that she was never going to see most of her relatives ever again face face because she was too young to know.

She is now 20-years-old with a high school diploma from Port of Los Angeles High School, works at JCPenney, and is in her second year of being in California State University, Dominguez Hills majoring in Sociology and minoring in Spanish. Ever since she immigrated into the United States, her life has changed since she now knows two languages, English and Spanish, and has had a better education than the one she could have been given back in El Salvador. My mother knows the story very well as she showed her emotions at the time saying,

“Yo siento que ya no me voy a regresar…la despedida era difícil. Tenía miedo por irme”.

What she said was scared to leave her homeland that she had grown up on for so many years but she left because

“Su papa ya vino. El via que aqui era un gran oportunidad”.

My father, Juan Carlos Zelaya, came here into the United States first with a job, 7-Eleven, and then saw a great opportunity in the United States and that they could have a better life than the one in El Salvador. She also told me that a relative on my father’s side took them in because she was the only relative, Aunt Zoila, at the time close to their country, El Salvador, because she lived in San Pedro, California. My mother was quite scared because this country was foreign to her when she said,

“A uno se da depresion que todos se murieron y tu quedas solo….me sienti perdido”.

She said that she felt depression hit her because she felt so lost in this new world and had left so many memories behind and had thought about going back but she was strong and tried this new life she had to take in. In less than a year, they moved out of the aunt’s house because my mother was pregnant with her second child, me.

That was the story of how my family had gotten here in the first place, but the story still goes on because time goes on.

My mother and father suffered through an enormous amount trying to get into the country and with President Trump trying to take Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals away, it is going to make their lives more difficult.

If you do not know what DACA means, it is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: protection from deportation, and a work permit. My mother has a saying in all of this chaos occurring.

She tells me her reaction to President Trump’s ending to DACA saying,

“It was many years waiting for one solution..and he does not think about the people that have worked very hard and it is not easy to take in the fact of deportation which brings sadness to many families”.

She also explains to me that her  20-year-old daughter is in the program of DACA while saying,

“ We heard about the program in which she could apply for so that when she would graduate from highschool, she can go to college and have a job for her own. We realized that she would be deported when she would turn 18 and we did not want that to happen so we took action”.

Her being a mother, she wanted to protect her daughter at all costs and realizes that something can happen to the high school students that have not graduated and were in the program saying,

“ I am afraid that these children will not get a chance to opportunities and most of them do not know anyone or anything of their parents’ home country”.

She also reacts to why Donald Trump is doing this to all these people around the United States saying,

“ I’d say that he is doing this because of politics but I don’t think he realizes that he is affecting families and the economy of the United States since most of the population is Latinos”.

I see how people through are being affected through this situation because I did not understand the whole picture but now I know through my parents’ eyes because now people are scared to even go outside with all of these things happening at once. Even high school students that were in the program are now afraid to even go to college because of being an illegal immigrant and seeing the possibility of being seen and then deported. But I think that President Donald Trump should see that it was not these kids’ fault that they came here and he should give them a chance without him thinking,

“When Mexico sends its people…they’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crimes. They’re rapists ”,

when he should be thinking of the families and children that have build a life here in the “land of the free” but instead he is ripping families apart by deporting family members. But of course, some are bad people but most of them came with good reasons and good morals. How does he not think that everyone is a immigrant, except for the Native Americans, and it is not not only Hispanics but it is also other people from different countries as well. I just hope that one day, PresidentTrump will open his eyes and realize how much trouble and distress he is causing for the people around the nation when his slogan is “Make America Great Again”.