Tears of a Dreamer

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Los Angeles yesterday, each one of them carried a little message. Photo taken at the MacArthur Park where demonstrators massed up. Photo © Abner Galino

LUIS Quiroz, a graduating student from San Francisco State University, was inside a bus and on his way to school when news broke that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been rescinded by the Trump administration.

“I was kind of browsing the internet, reading through the headlines, when one comment has actually been made… I wasn’t prepared for the emotional distress… I kind of surprised myself when tears just started gushing from my eyes,” Quiroz, 28, a recipient of DACA or commonly referred to as Dreamer, told a teleconference on Thursday (September 7) organized by New America Media and Ready California.

“Everyone (on the bus) started looking at me like a I’m a weirdo,” Quiroz recalled.

The Dreamer, whose parents migrated from the Mexican state of Guerrero when he was six months old, said he felt like he has “stripped of everything that I had worked for.”

“I know no other home. California has been my home pretty much. I grew up in San Diego and moved to San Francisco for college,” Quiroz said.

Quiroz was able to get a decent paying job to pay for his education because of DACA.

Quiroz said the news not only broke his heart but as well as dashed his hope of being able to pay respect to the grave of an older brother who was recently shot and killed in Mexico last March.

“He was an honest man, with an honest business catering to tourists. He was shot point blank in front of his four-year-old daughter,” Quiroz recalled between sobs.

That brother, according to Quiroz, was deported to Mexico some years back where the latter started a new life and raised a family.

Photo © Abner Galino

Quiroz was trying to avail of the advance parole as a DACA recipient so he could also visit both his parents who were arrested and deported one after the other within a sad chain of events during the last four years.

“I just have saved enough money and finished the paperwork so I could visit the grave of my brother and see my parents and my brother’s daughter — whom I have not met,” Quiroz intimated.

The parents of Quiroz beseeched their son to “stay in America” so he could pursue opportunities to get a better life for himself and the family.

The Dreamer added that he was so thankful that he was in California where, aside from the presence of many pro-immigrant support groups, the state itself has been implementing compassionate policies to undocumented people like him.

Quiroz also particularly commended the state of California for passing AB 60 which allowed undocumented persons to avail of driver licenses.

“It was liberating, physically and figuratively,” Quiroz said.

Quiroz, who would be graduating college nine months from now, said he would keep fighting for his right to remain in the US despite the sad development.

“We have to learn twice as hard to get anywhere. We have fight twice as hard to keep what is ours. I am here to stay,” Quiroz concluded.

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