1. Renew DACA
2. Work/Save $$
3. Go to College
4. Get Married
5. Take care of sisters (?)
When Andrik walked into the CHD office in Santa Rosa this morning, he had a pocket full of hard-earned cash and his mind set to take care of business fast! Andrik is a “Dreamer” who lives in Sonoma County under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Called “DACA,” the program provides young people illegally brought to the U.S. as children with work permits and relief from deportation. DACAs must be renewed every two years and for Andrik that time is now.
“I’ve been so busy applying for jobs and working that it kind of slipped my mind, plus I had to save up the money,” says Andrik. “But then, with everything that’s been going on with immigration, I figured I better stop putting it off and get it done today,” he adds.
Born in Cordoba Vera Cruz, Mexico and brought to Sonoma County when he was just three years old, Andrik recalls sleeping in the attic of a home in Petaluma, sharing a bed with his folks (which he thought was ‘awesome’) and drinking American milk for the first time (‘gross’… but now his preference). He attended grammar school, junior high and high school all in Sonoma County, has never returned to Mexico and considers himself American. He dreams of earning a college degree in business management. He’s also in love and plans to get married soon to a U.S. citizen. Their union will not only fulfill his heart’s desire but also allow him to seek a green card and ultimately citizenship in the only land he’s ever loved.
In many ways, Andrik’s dreams are shaping up nicely. But there’s a catch. His parents do not have documents and he has two underage sisters who were born here. “If my parents are forced to leave, I will stay and take care of my sisters. Though this is hardly anyone’s dream,” he says.
Andrik and his family, like so many others, anxiously await details on promised immigration reform and how those reforms will be implemented. Meantime, Andrik’s DACA renewal is heading to DC for approval. Pending any unforeseen difficulties, it will provide him with two more years of protection to pursue his American Dream.
Dreamers in need of DACA renewal assistance are encouraged to call CHD’s immigration experts at 707.523.1155, ext. 4721.