June 15, 2012, was one of the happiest days of my life. It’s the day I finally saw light at the end of the tunnel. How amazing that an administrative action of a president can have such an impact!
This is probably the same feeling African Americans experienced when they fought (for) and earned their civil rights; probably the same feeling same-sex couples felt when they found out they could finally marry after so many years of battling. Yes, June 15, 2012, the day DACA was created, was my time, our time. The chance to finally put my dreams into action; the time to show what an awesome person the country had been missing when it said I didn’t belong.
I remember gathering in front of the TV with my family to watch President Obama give the invitation to come out of the shadows: my brother and sister, right there with me; I could see, and feel their joy — it was my joy too. But the face that most impacted me, was my dad’s. I remember turning and seeing something even sweeter than joy. His eyes revealed an indescribable sense of relief that finally, after all this time — all the sacrifices and missed opportunities; all the relatives we lost when we crossed the border; all the hours working at low-paying jobs, paying taxes and still being called illegal and other names; after all of this, his children were finally going to be free.
And now I’m on my fourth DACA renewal, and with every approved application I feel like I have 24 months of oxygen left in the tank. My dreams literally get a renewal. The Supreme Court is about to announce the future of DACA. I am breathing deeply trying to stay calm. Each day I take a step towards my dreams. I don’t take a single step, or a single breath for granted. I want each breath, each dream and DACA to last.
This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.