‘I can’t keep fighting the system’: DACA recipients are leaving the U.S., disheartened by years of instability.
DALLAS — One of the newest immigrants to the United States says it’s hard to stay in this country without the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.
When her deportation is not imminent, Rachael Saldaña said she has few other options. She can’t live in the country her father and three siblings settled here in 1994; she has no money, nor does she know how to get any. She worries about being able to take care of her three children, all of whom have medical conditions or are under the age of 13.
“I have two kids in the country and I have one in the U.S.,” said Saldaña, who was raised in Texas. “I don’t know where I am going to go.”
Saldaña said all she wants is a way to stay, even if it means a new start in Phoenix. But she knows that she can’t do that without a green card, which she believes the government will never grant her.
Her family immigrated to the United States from Mexico when she was a child with her now-grown brother. Before DACA, her brother and father were arrested and deported, while Saldaña was left in their care.
While her parents were living in Mexico, she was taken with her mother to the U.S. and was adopted by a Mexican family. Saldaña’s two sisters are older and live in the U.S. and have been protected from deportation.
“I don’t even know who I would have been, if not for this program,” said Saldaña. “They can take my papers away and I don’t even know where I would go.”
Saldaña, 27, told her story in a letter, published in The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News. The former El Paso resident is speaking out for her seven-year-old son, who she said has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She was born