Name: Karina Almanza
City & Country of Origin: Mexico
School: San Francisco State University
DACA Assistance Provider: International Institute of the Bay Area
Why I applied for DACA:
DACA sounded like a positive option for me. I felt like it would open the doors for me to make a better future for myself, and for my family, because it offered me rights that were denied to me before. As a sociology student, it is very important for me to actually get to work within my field once I graduate from college. Before DACA, my future goals were a lot more uncertain because I didn’t have the freedom of working certain jobs, nor the freedom of just getting from one place to another. DACA gave me a little reassurance that my dreams were still reachable. In addition, my parents encouraged me to apply because they also felt that DACA would have a positive impact in my life–and they were relieved that my opportunities in life might not be so bleak after all. Because helping my family is a big priority in my life, I decided to take my changes with DACA.
What I plan to do now that I have DACA:
I plan to continue to use my work permit to further develop my work experience that will lead to a career in sociology, take advantage of the fact that I can now travel within the country without fear of repercussions, and apply to advance parole to study abroad
Why I want to share my story:
I know that many people are still hesitant to apply for DACA because they might be afraid that the information they provide will be used against them, and I want them to know that as someone who already went through the process, I didn’t have many problems applying for it. Although not everyone’s case is as straightforward, the benefits of having DACA are still worth applying for. Even though many believe that DACA is not enough as a solution for the current immigration issues, it is at the very least one small step forward. Why not take advantage of something that will help improve our quality of life?
My advice for someone who is thinking of applying for DACA:
If you have a complex case, I would still advise you to seek an attorney to review your case and to advise you on whether you qualify for it. Sometimes people might think they don’t qualify but in reality they might still have a chance to get approved for DACA. I would also advise you to take advantage of the resources available to apply to DACA, such as nonprofit organizations that offer DACA services for free or at low-cost, and beware of scams. Do your research if you have to, to make sure you find a good, legitimate attorney.