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Dreamers, a deadline and a call to action

Karla Jimenez, Guest Columnist • Mar 4, 2018 at 8:15 AM

March 5 remains a crucial deadline to pass a legislative solution for DACA, and the majority of Tennesseans want one.

People around the globe dream of coming to live in the United States. I’ve been fortunate enough to live the dream. At age 18 months, I came to the U.S. with my family from Mexico seeking an opportunity for a better future.

But my future as well as thousands of other Dreamers is uncertain. The President gave members of Congress until March 5 – Monday – to find a permanent solution for undocumented youth like myself. This date is very crucial and determines the lives and future of many students and contributors to our communities.

We have worked extremely hard, going to school, working – many more than one job – and staying out of trouble. We contribute to our local economies and our communities. We Dreamers, in good faith, came out of the shadows to be a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

But DACA has been under siege, rescinded by the White House and bogged down in Congress, where lawmakers have failed to agree on any legislation been taken to protect us Dreamers from deportation. I write today to say to members of Congress: Action is overdue. Dreamers shall no longer live their lives in fear of what their future will be.

Just like many others, I have worked very hard to accomplish my goals. Although it has not been easy at times, I am very fortunate. With DACA, I have been able to accomplish so much.

After high school my dream was to become a nurse, I soon got news DACA recipients not only are ineligible for financial aid but also are expected to pay out-of-state tuition. But, I did not let that put my dreams on hold.

I worked two jobs to afford going to nursing school as well as working full-time during my program. I graduated last August, then passed my nursing boards and was blessed with becoming a nurse. One of my greatest dreams was accomplished. Now I am working the job of my dreams.

I, as many other Dreamers, deserve the opportunity to continue working hard and giving back to our communities. It is unfair and discouraging that our situation has been overlooked by Congress and our lawmakers. This is our home and our community. We the Dreamers are here to stay, and we deserve a permanent solution today.

We need U.S. Rep. Phil Roe to stand up for us, as well as U.S. Sens. Alexander and Corker. We are part of their community and want nothing more than to be assets and give back. We do not deserve to be set back and added to another deadline once again; Dreamers need a solution now. We have futures and lives to plan for. This uncertainty is cruel and inhumane.

Let us keep living the dream.

Karla Jimenez lives in Greeneville.

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