The Dream Act of 2023 is just the latest alliteration and has been introduced in the last three sessions of Congress, but similar versions have been introduced – and at one point even passed the U.S. House of Representatives only to never see the light of day in the upper chamber. And while some legislators might say the ninth time’s a charm, others aren’t so convinced, in part because even supporters of granting permanent legal status to DREAMers and others seeking a path to U.S. citizenship complain that legislators constantly use DREAMers in particular as a pawn for greater security measures along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Ever since I left my hometown in Queretaro, Mexico, building a place that feels like home in the U.S. has been an ongoing task. Today, the idea of home feels even further away because my father, an immigrant who spent almost two decades in the U.S., will be returning to Mexico. He bought a one-way ticket, not knowing that part of my heart will also be boarding the plane with him. Like him, I’m also undocumented, therefore leaving the U.S. legally, or traveling in and out of the country, is not an option for me. I will soon say goodbye to him, not knowing when I will see him again.
The government needs to understand it is not meeting me and other DACA recipients halfway by fully recognizing me with a pathway to citizenship when I have sprinted a marathon for this country. I have a work permit but no permanent status. Will my career be limited?