Reflections on Interviews with DACA recipients

By Citlali Jauregui

I decided to write about DACA recipients because I wanted others to know about some of their struggles for a better life. Some people don’t take the time to read these types of articles since DACA doesn’t affect them, but it could affect someone who they are very close to.

Recipients of DACA whose permits expired before March of 2018 had until Oct 5, 2017 to renew their permits. No new applications were accepted after October 5. The Mexican Consulate located in Salt Lake City provided financial assistance for those who couldn’t afford the application fee of $499. They also provided services in which DACA recipients could attend and meet with a lawyer, free of charge, to get their application going before the October deadline. Every two years DACA recipients would go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to get their bio-metrics taken after their applications were approved. In the September issue of The New York Times stated that there are 800,000 DACA recipients who are affected by the removal of DACA.

I have a few friends who have DACA and were willing to share their story with me. I also wanted to get the views of a few parents of DACA recipients and their reasons for bringing their children to a different country. They were the best sources for my story because their journey on coming to the U.S. wasn’t easy and they all faced struggles in different ways coming from different countries.

I did encounter some obstacles while developing my story, especially during the interview process. Immigration is a sensitive topic to talk about and both parents I interviewed preferred not to include their full name in order to keep their identity safe. I decided to focus on their whys for coming to the U.S, their struggles, and their hopes. I also decided to focus on Lopez’s story specifically, just because he decided to come to the U.S. alone to be reunited with his parents. During my writing process I became stuck a few times, because I wanted to include the full story of each DACA recipient I interviewed. Each person I interviewed had a very unique story and I wanted to include their whole story with more detail, but due to space I had to leave some things out. Another struggle that I encountered was trying to leave my bias out and be more transparent. I am an immigrant as well and I have experienced some of the same struggles as the individuals I interviewed. I tried writing this story by putting myself on the outside, which was hard, but I believe I accomplished it. It’s not easy starting a new life in a country that is very different from our own, but we adapt ourselves and with commitment and dedication anything can be possible.

Story: An opportunity for Success is taken away