Roberto Garcia is a UNT Dallas student, a junior political science major. He wants to teach government and be a coach after he graduates. While taking a full load of courses, Roberto works as a project manager at a software development firm in Dallas.
Roberto is also a DREAMer. Just like some 200 students enrolled at the University of North Texas, Roberto is not a U.S. citizen, and he has no pathway to become one. But because of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy passed under President Obama, Roberto and other DREAMers -- the name given to those who qualify for the DACA program -- have a future in the U.S. in which they can legally work. DREAMers came to the country as small children, often brought here by their parents from Mexico and central American countries seeking a better life.
Roberto came to the U.S. when he was 4 years old. He learned English, went to school, made friends, lived a life just like any other American-born child. But now DACA protections for some 800,000 DREAMers is being threatened by the Trump administration. The Supreme Court recently heard arguments on DACA, and a decision on the status of the program is pending. The Supreme Court's decision is literally gut-wrenching on a daily basis Roberto and the other DREAMers, and if it rescinded, it would make it illegal for Roberto, a tax payer, to work in th U.S., and he could face deportation to a country he's never really known.
"As my English got better through high school, I don't think that I had a label on me. I feel like other people saw me as just as American as they are. I am very proud of my Mexican roots, I am very proud of where I'm from, but I'm also proud of being a contributing member to society here in the U.S. for the last 15 years," Roberto says in the podcast. "I don't think people have a label on me because I do the same things that any other 20-year-old American kid born in the United States ... I watch football, I love burgers, I love the gym, I feel like I do everything everybody else does. The only thing that separates me is my parents decided to move here in the hopes for a brighter future for me and my siblings."
Hear Roberto's story, and get insight from UNT Dallas College of Law adjunct professor and immigration law expert Dan Gividen, as they join Urban Advantage Podcast hosts Jeff Caplan and Greg Campbell.
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The Urban Advantage Podcast is the official voice of southern Dallas and the University of North Texas at Dallas.
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