9 On Your Side Immigration Watch
One ‘Dreamer’ calls new immigration policy ‘a little bit of peace, happiness’
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – It’s not quite a dream, but the President’s new “deferred action” immigration policy is bringing a new hope to an estimated 1.7 million people in the country illegally. And they are turning out en masse to take advantage of it.
Many of those undocumented immigrants are living and studying right here in Tucson, including Josue Saldivar, 21, who is a member of the “Undocumented Youth in Action” group.
Saldivar said he is as American as apple pie: “I’m a big burger eater and I love pizza.”
His parents brought him here when he was 8-years-old. Since then, an enduring fear of being undocumented followed him everywhere – and SB 1070 didn’t exactly help.
“You are always aware of your surroundings. You are always guarded. It hasn’t stopped me from doing my daily things, but I always keep it in the back of my mind,” Saldivar said.
However, now Saldivar can take steps toward legal status. He and his undocumented friends call this a historic moment.
“It’s definitely a positive feeling. It’s definitely something that I would like to feel more of. Yes, it’s just a little bit of peace, of happiness,” Saldivar said.
Sprinkle in there a little bit of cautious optimism, too.
“There have been obstacles already. And I’m not afraid of overcoming those obstacles and overcoming those challenges and if there is, it’s just going to be another one,” Saldivar said.
While others’ American dreams might involve big homes and fancy cars, Saldivar’s is a little simpler.
“For me, it’s just to be an official citizen of the United States,” Saldivar said.