NM DREAMers Become Doers, Thanks to Deferred Action Program
PHOTO: Carmen Rodriguez is a University of New Mexico student who is applying for the DACA program. Photo credit: David Silverstein, ImagicArt.
November 12, 2012
SANTA FE, N. M. – The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was a fantasy that's become real for young people now known as DREAMers. They can now begin to think ahead to a future in the United States and what they might do with it.
In New Mexico, Carmen Rodriguez is one of them. Born in Mexico, she lives in Santa Fe and attends the University of New Mexico. Rodriguez says she was cooking when she got the news. It means she can continue her studies to become a Physician's Assistant.
"I plan on giving back. So, I plan on serving under-served populations."
Rodriguez is in the process of applying for deferred-action status. She is currently finishing up two Bachelors of Science degrees. Hoping to graduate from the University of New Mexico in December, she says she will then apply to a Masters program.
Rodriguez has another dream - what she calls comprehensive immigration reform.
"Not only we are affected, but family members that do not qualify under such process, so we would no longer be divided."
Mayté Garcia, also a UNM student, dreams of getting her Ph.D. in education. When the Obama administration announced the Deferred Action program, she says, it was a big moment for her.
"I was told, 'The president has signed the Deferred Action,' and I was speechless. I was crying; it was very emotional. I was really happy."
Garcia has already applied for deferred-action status and is awaiting the results. She says she's working toward an education degree and wants to teach.