What was once an open door full of opportunities for Samantha Yanez, has now begun to close ever so slightly with today’s announcement.
"We come here for a better life," said Yanez.
Inside of the Todec Legal Center in Coachella, several residents and Todec staff members watched as Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA.
"It says president Trump terminates DACA," said Manuel Vazquez Rodriguez, another staff member with Todec Legal Center.
A hope for a better future feels almost out of reach for these residents including Yanez who’s a DACA recipient.
"As an immigrant and being a child of immigrants, it’s a fear you constantly live with," she said.
Yanez works to help local immigrants know their rights after they’ve settled here in the valley. It’s a journey, she says is one of true courage and strength.
"You’ve gone through the whole struggle of coming to this country, that you really understand why we fight so hard to be here," said Yanez. "If we were barely making it, if we were barely having food to eat, then it meant that i wasn’t going to have a chance to go to school."
Education, work and healthcare are parts of the American Dream that so many immigrants strive for. But many who contribute to the economy and put in their dues are now told it’s not enough to stay in the land of the free.
"That’s why many people come to this country, it’s not just my story, it’s the story for millions of us because they say that this is the land of opportunity and yet i feel like I don’t have an opportunity even if i continue to work hard and everything. Just because i don’t look the way i am supposed to look to be in this country," said Yanez.
For more information or questions on DACA, contact the Todec Legal Center at (760) 698-8787 or (951) 443-8458.