Those in the program were brought to the U.S. illegally at a young age and are often called “Dreamers.” One El Paso, Texas DACA recipient, Norma Irene Alvarez, who was brought to America from Mexico at age 5, is relieved to hear about Biden’s executive order on DACA, which protects her thousand others from deportation.
“My reaction was just as every other ‘Dreamer,’ we’ve pretty much been waiting for some kind of solution or some kind of promise,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez told NewsNation affiliate KTSM her protections under DACA are set to expire this year and she has felt like she is in limbo not knowing if she would be able to renew and stay in El Paso.
Former President Donald Trump had worked to remove DACA altogether during his time in office. A lawsuit out of Texas that aims to do away with DACA remains in litigation.
While she’s relieved DACA is being preserved, Alvarez says she hopes Biden takes more actions to help “Dreamers.”
“I would ask for a pathway to citizenship, maybe start out with a residency. As I said, I’ve been here all my life, I live here, I pay taxes, I do what every other citizen does,” she said.
She explains that under DACA, she cannot leave the U.S. Currently, her grandmother in Mexico is very ill and Alvarez is unable to go and be with her during her last moments. She’s asking Biden to give “Dreamers” more “freedom”.
“Someone who has more freedom, because as a DACA you can’t leave the U.S., you can’t go anywhere other than the U.S. territories, so it feels sometimes that we are stuck here because we are being punished in some type of way,” Alvarez said. “We came here at a very young age with no knowledge of the reasons.”