Hardworking DACA Recipient Responds to Chief of Staff’s “Lazy” Comment

Hardworking DACA Recipient Responds to Chief of Staff’s “Lazy” Comment

KMIR

Coachella Valley Region

As White House Chief of Staff told reporters the Trump administration’s immigration plan for those brought to the United States illegally as children he said this about DREAMers who did not sign up for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, " … the difference between [690,000] and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t t sign up," and when later was asked to clarify, he said, " … some of them just should have probably gotten off the couch and signed up."

Marcela De Dios is a DACA recipient, "This is my home, I love the United States," she says.

She came here with her parents from Mexico when she was 11-years-old. She works a full time job as a broker’s assistant, she’s working on her real estate license and sociology degree. She’s a straight a student. 

"Last semester I made the dean’s list," she says. 

She juggles that and being a wife and mother of two children. When she gets home there’s more work to do.

"It’s dinner and time with the kids and you know homework … try to fit homework and studying in between and go to sleep and do it all over again," she says. 

She says the comments made my Kelly are wrong. And the reason she took a long time to apply for DACA was not because she was lazy but for the same reason many can’t. It costs about $500 just to apply, "At that time I was a single mom and couldn’t make ends meet and I just couldn’t make ends meet and have that as well."

She says fear also plays a big role, "Why would you apply? Why would you want to give all that information to the government, it is scary," adding that with so much uncertainty about the program, immigration reform, and a more deportations, anyone in the same position would be hesitant to hand over all of their information making themselves targets of I.C.E. agents. 

She has this message for Kelly, "Mr. Kelly, I invite you to get to know a DREAMer …  I think it will open your eyes and you will see that there’s very good people and there’s very hard workers and i think you will be impressed."

She hopes others take a good look at the dreamers around them and the contributions they make to their communities, "We can make America great again too, although I already think it’s great enough. I love it."