This is what it means to be a DACA recipient.

Since 2012, over 800,000 DREAMers, like ourselves, have been given the legal right to work, apply for a driver’s license, and, most importantly, live without the fear of deportation. We complete background checks and pay $495 in fees every two years to maintain our DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status.

It was not our decision to come to this country. Our parents came to the United States in search of a decent life away from poverty, oppression, corruption, and violence.

To our Gettysburg College friends who know little about DREAMers, this is what it means to be a DACA recipient:

Stay quiet
Keep it inside
One, two, three breathe in
One, two, three breathe out
Am I supposed to be okay?
Well I am okay
Fighting for a future
That I have been denied from the very start
I just don’t get it
How can I get it
DACA was once there
But now it is gone
I get it
Listen, I get it
Funny because when you are invisible,
When you are not even considered a human being,
One day you could be here,
But then gone.

Don’t you dare give me your cheap sympathy
Instead look at me for who I am
Not a victim
But a survivor of a system
A system that does everything in its power
To step on me
To violate me
To destroy me
So don’t give me your hypocritical sympathy
Because DACA was once there
But now it is gone
Don’t be sorry for me
Learn what the hell is going on in the world
Don’t hide inside your superficial bubble

Don’t you dare judge me
If you don’t know
What it is like to have parents who went in search of a future
That has been denied from the very start
Parents with heavy hands that have cultivated the tree
While you take the fruit
Heavy feet that have crossed endless borders
Overcoming cultures, languages, persecution, misconceptions, ignorance and lack of empathy

This has put me down
But here I am
Getting up
Back on my feet and grounded on the land that I fought to be on

We have a heart
We have compassion
We have a purpose
Therefore, we are powerful.

Even though we are the targets of hatred
Even though they have cut our wings
And we can’t fly anymore
Then run
If we can’t run
Then walk
If we can’t walk
Then crawl
If we can’t even crawl
Today is not the day to give up…
Today, we will not only survive, but fight.

We are DACA. We are Immigrants. We are DREAMers. We are Fighters. We are Dream Fighters.

E.P.R. ‘21 and M.P. ‘21
Contributing Writers