DACA Story: Erick

The following guest blog post was written by Erick, a DACA recipient who has been active in the life of the Church of the Brethren. An announcement regarding the future of the DACA program is expected to be made on Tuesday, Sept. 5th. 

Update, 9/5/17 11:27am: The DACA program has been rescinded, leaving a 6 month window for Congress to pass legislation like the DREAM Act of 2017 to protect DACA recipients. 

Hello, my name is Erick. I have formed part of the Church of the Brethren denomination since I was around 8 years. I am now 26 years old, and going strong. The brothers and sisters of The Church of the Brethren have formed a vital part of my identity as a Christian. I have been involved with my congregation, Principe de Paz in Santa Ana. Formerly, I was the secretary for my congregation for about six years. I have also been a part of our worship group playing the bass for about seven years. I have also been a part of the Young Adult Policy Board for about two years in the Pacific Southwest District. I graduated and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 2016. I am currently a first-year pharmacy student to earn my doctor of pharmacy degree at a university in Nashville, Tennessee. This is just a little background about myself.

Have you heard of the current news regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)? President Trump is being pressured into making a decision by this week on whether the DACA program remains, or not. This decision will affect more than 800,000 students and individuals like me. Like many individuals under the DACA program, I was brought to this country at an early age, at the age of 2. I do not remember anything from my country of origin. I view myself as an American; I have embraced the American culture. I want to form a permanent relationship with this country.

Some Americans argue that people like us broke the law, and we must be punished by being deported. Some Americans view us as criminals, when all we want to do is fight for our freedom, and live the American dream that many of their ancestors fought for in previous generations. Some argue that we should go through the legal route. Current laws prohibit us from gaining any sort of legal path to citizenship. I am an individual that pays his taxes. I have paid for my college education myself, because we don’t have the same privileges as American Citizens.

It saddens me that people like me have to prove our humanity. The American Culture is ingrained in me like any other American Citizen. I embrace my identity. All we ask is for an opportunity. All current individuals under the DACA program are expected to maintain a clean record in this country. DACA gives us the ability to work legally and obtain a State Driver’s license. It also allows us to continue pursuing higher education. It also means that we cannot leave the country, unless if for humanitarian or work-related reasons.

I ask you to please stand with the DACA program. Please support us. Some of us are teachers, policemen, firefighters, lawyers, etc. We are all hoping to finally obtain the American dream that many of your ancestors worked so hard to obtain. I am not going to lie and say I am not scared, because I am. Ending the DACA program has many negative implications for individuals like me. I want to continue studying to become a pharmacist. I want to impact my community in a positive manner by being a healthcare provider. I want to be a part of the change, and contribute to society. I long to be a part of this country, which is the only country I have truly known at a personal level. Ending this program might mean I may not be able to finish my studies. However, as a believer of Jesus Christ, I have maintained faith and peace. I do not hold any animosity against anyone that does not support the DACA program. I only ask them to learn more about individuals under the DACA program so that they may understand what we are going through, and maybe empathize with our situation. We are all moving forward in hopes to form a legal, and permanent place in this country, God bless America.

15 thoughts on “DACA Story: Erick

  1. Hang in there Erick. Even though DACA has been rescinded with congress having 6 months to work something out, you and your 800,000 sisters and brothers are not without others standing with you and speaking and acting on behalf of all dreamers and other immigrants who have assimilated peacefully and are seeking citizenship.

  2. Thank you for your faith, courage and commitment, your contribution to your congregation, district and culture! I stand with you my brother.

  3. Hi, Erick! It was a joy to meet you this summer at the workcamp! My heart grew heavy when I heard that DACA was being rescinded – I immediately thought of the young people at Principe de Paz who were likely affected. I will keep you in my prayers, and will work to change minds in Washington. Blessings, brother!
    Emily Shonk Edwards
    Staunton Church of the Brethren

  4. Thank you so much to all my brothers and sisters in Christ. I appreciate the love and support, and prayers you have all given for Dreamers like myself. I feel the love. It gives me even more strength to know that I have your spiritual support. Thank you.

  5. Hello Phyllis, thank you so much for your support. To answer your question, and I quote “When you say that there were/are legal reasons that you cannot become a legal citizen, what would those be?” it is simply the way DACA was set up to be. It is a temporary fix, which basically meant our status in this country was “deferred.” This meant we could only work, and study if we chose to. DACA was not placed to help people become US Residents. It was never a path to citizenship. Now, in general, individuals that was brought at this country as a child can not file to become US Resident. The immigration system is broken, and I believe it is time to for a permanent solution. I have faith that my God, our God, has great things in store for all of us.

  6. This is a horrible miscarriage of justice. Most of this nation stands with you. You are the very type person our nation needs to build a stron society.
    Please hang in and keep your faith.
    It will be your generation that changes this nation for the better.

  7. Brother Erick,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Please know congregations like the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren are praying for you, and taking action for you and other Dreamers. We have hosted Dreamers events here in PA and learned so much! Dreamers are a blessing to this country!

    In Christ’s Grace and Peace,
    Greg Davidson Laszakovits
    Pastor, Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren

  8. I, too, am dismayed at what has happened with the DACA and cannot understand why Trump decided to dismantle the program. My prayers are with you are others in this program. I have faith that Congress will now make this a law that cannot be dismissed atbthevwhim of politicians.
    I do have a question. When you say that there were/are legal reasons that you cannot become a legal citizen, what would those be? I had no idea that the DACA program would block legal citizenship. If this is the case, then this needs to be changed, as well.

  9. Praying all of this will be resolved so that you don’t have to be scared anymore.God is with you Eric and all of you wonderful young people.Be in prayer and draw closer to our Lord.

  10. Que no puede hacer nuestro Dios justo, misericrdioso y bueno? Confiemos solo en El. Con amor pastoral. Daniel DOleo

  11. Mi querido Erick,

    We’ve been trough this before and we have learned that the best standing is to depend on God 100%. Faith made it possible back then, faith will make it possible today. I’m glad that we have now more brethren aware and praying. Remember that all things are possible because Jesus is with us. He sets us free from evil. Un abrazo grande mi querido doctor. RZ

  12. Don’t give up, and I am sure you wont. I am ashamed that this has happened to you…. I am so sorry.

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