KGUN 9NewsBorder Watch


The up and downside of DACA from a local recipient

Posted at 10:59 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 01:59:06-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "Even though, yes I am grateful, but I do not forever."

Denisse Smizquita said she received DACA status about four years ago.

The program was made for people like her, born elsewhere but brought to the states by her parents at a young age.

"In the back of my head I knew that something could happen."

She said before she acquired status through the program, started by President Obama in 2012, her family lived with a lingering fear that she could be sent back to Mexico at any moment.

Denisse said getting DACA status would be an avenue to higher aspirations.

"Reaching higher education could grant me the future that I wanted."

She said her parents were hesitant about the program before she first applied for it as a young teenager.

"We were confused and we were scared because if it was rejected something could happen to them, was their mentality."

Recipients have to reapply for status every two years.
Denisse has applied twice and been accepted twice, allowing her some liberties in the states.

"I'm able to get a job, get my driver's license that I recently just got," she said.

"Reach higher education even though I am not able to get federal aid or federal scholarships, state scholarships specifically."

She said she still feels vulnerable, her legal status at the mercy of whoever is running the government.

"That's how we can be attacked again the future."

"A path to citizenship, in my eyes of a daca recipient, means freedom."

Some lawmakers marked the anniversary of the program by calling for more.

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly tweeted, in part:

"It’s time to pass a path to citizenship for dreamers."

"It makes me feel like I'm not an outcast anymore."

Denisse said DACA has been a blessing but also somewhat of an empty promise.

"I am certainly not ungrateful that daca was reinstated but we need permanent action."