To honor DACA’s fifth anniversary, the ACLU of Illinois is launching a storytelling project featuring DACA recipients. We hope that by telling these stories, we give agency to more people to tell their own story and challenge the harmful rhetoric coming from the Trump Administration. Here is one story:
I remember when I got my college acceptance letter - I was over the moon. But I didn’t go to college. I really wanted to but I couldn’t afford it.
Instead, I’ve worked full-time since I was 16-years-old. I found a door-to-door sales job. I worked retail. Then I got very lucky and found a job at a start-up - when I began with them, they only had three employees so it was really new and I didn’t need to show my papers. I was with them for five years until I started working at Yelp. The CEO is very supportive of immigration and has been a part of the conversation on immigration in Silicon Valley.
But nobody in the office knew I was undocumented. I was the only one in my training class that hadn’t gone to college and yet I outperformed the majority of the office. I even got a raise six months in. It was a great experience but at the same time it was so hard to feel successful—even with this great job at this great company—because I couldn’t travel outside the U.S. I can’t share the same experiences as other people because of my immigration status.
My roots are in Chicago. My whole life is here, my family and husband are here. We just bought a house and we depend on my income to support my family. Just to know that my job, our house, our life here could all so easily be taken away from us is terrifying.