Asael R.
Dreamer Stories • Illinois

Asael R.

Asael studies Sociology and Political Science. He can't work in public service without a Dream Act.

Now that DACA is ending, all the studying I do and all the work I do won’t mean much because I won’t be able to participate in my community.

I was a happy kid. I had two friends right next-door to me. We were like the Three Musketeers. Every day in the summers, we would go out and ride our bikes around the neighborhood and discover little things that didn’t need discovering. Like, we’d find rocks and think that was cool.

We listened to music together. That’s how our music tastes grew, together. I ended up liking rap and then rock mostly because of them. And in return I would introduce them to more Mexican music—mariachi and cumbia.

I saw myself in the context of my friends. I wasn’t all that different aside from just that I wasn’t born here.

 

 

When I went into high school, my friends were getting licenses. They started looking into colleges and talking about financial aid, scholarships, getting part-time jobs over the summers, all these possibilities. And I couldn’t do that because I didn’t have a Social Security number. I was really hopeless about my future. I dropped out of high school.

DACA gave me a second chance.

After getting DACA I knew I couldn’t take those opportunities for granted. It sparked a new passion in me. I got involved in my community. I went back to school and started really applying myself. College was possible now. DACA gave me a second chance.

Now that DACA is ending, all the studying I do and all the work I do won’t mean much because I won’t be able to participate in my community. I wouldn’t be here without my community, and that’s what I want to keep doing in the future: I want to help my community grow.

My parents and I taking a little family vacation to the beach with the newest member of the family, my little sister, Betsy. Illinois, 2005.

 

I think every day about the sacrifices my parents made for me, coming to this country.

The biggest tradition my family has is Christmas. In Mexico, we didn’t have Christmas. But coming to the United States, Christmas was such a big deal. Every year it is my favorite day of the year. We stay in pajamas all day. We get presents for each other. Nothing too big but something meaningful. And we just spend time together. It doesn’t have to be big, but we’ll watch a movie, we’ll eat some good food, some tamales. We add our own little flavor to Christmas.

I’m the oldest in my family. And I love my family.

I think every day about the sacrifices my parents made for me, coming to this country.

Reach out to your representatives, from local to federal. We need to talk to them about protecting DACA and protecting families.

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