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As DACA Winds Down, DREAMers Turn Toward Different Futures

Sisters Andrea and Claudia De La Vega mount in a yard of their home in Austin.

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Sisters Andrea and Claudia De La Vega mount in a yard of their home in Austin.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

As politicians in Washington try and figure out what to do with a DACA module — Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals — opposite a country, DACA recipients are operative on their possess skeleton … perplexing to stay in a nation if Congress doesn’t act in time.

Andrea De La Vega, 26, says she remembers when she initial satisfied her immigration standing could reason her back. In high school, she was a editor of a propagandize newspaper, a lead profession on a ridicule hearing team. She was in a tip 10 percent of her class, that all though guaranteed entrance into a University of Texas Austin, one of her tip schools, when she practical in 2009.

But Andrea was innate in Mexico and found out that she didn’t have a Social Security number, so she couldn’t request for tyro loans or scholarships.

She and her sister, Claudia De La Vega, 28, wound adult attending Texas colleges that worked with students who don’t have documentation, though after graduation, they had no approach to work.

Claudia De La Vega has her hair finished a night before her wedding.

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Claudia De La Vega has her hair finished a night before her wedding.

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So, when a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals module non-stop adult in 2012, she applied. Now, she’s among a scarcely 800,000 immature people who have work permits and insurance from deportation underneath a Obama-era program.

Unlike many other DACA recipients, Andrea and Claudia came to a United State with their relatives legally.

Their father, an architect, got a pursuit in Texas, permitting him to get a work visa that lonesome a whole family.

Once here, Andrea and Claudia’s relatives started a routine to get permanent residency — a routine that took some-more than 20 years.

By that time they became citizens, 3 of a 4 De La Vega kids had aged out of their parents’ insurance and were left with no authorised status.

After their college graduations, they had no approach to work.

“I had no source of income,” Claudia says. She says she found ways to make ends meet, “Like offered stuff, going to a preservation store and reselling it on eBay,” she says. “Anything we could do, literally, to get some money.”

Andrea faced a identical conditions and was paid underneath a list while operative during a restaurant. They had college degrees and career goals. But their immigration standing prevented them from removing jobs they were competent for – until DACA.

“I got my DACA on Feb. 14 of 2014,” says Andrea. “I remember being like, ‘This is my Valentine.’ That’s how happy we was to get it.”

Now Claudia is an architect, like her dad, and Andrea is an bureau manager for a psychiatrist.

The De La Vega family walks into a Austin building where Claudia and Marc will marry.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT


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The De La Vega family walks into a Austin building where Claudia and Marc will marry.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

“As shortly as we got it, we practical to jobs in Austin and immediately changed here given it’s always what we wanted to do,” says Andrea. “This thing was a sheet to start what we wanted to do.”

DACA authorised Claudia, who worked 5 years on an design degree, to get a pursuit in her margin conceptualizing tradition homes for a organisation in Austin.

President Trump rescinded DACA in early September, giving Congress until Mar figure to out an choice devise before protections start to proviso out. Some Democrats in a Senate are operative toward safeguarding DREAMers by including an refurbish to a module — Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals — in a new spending bill.

But a De La Vega sisters have had to figure out other plans, dual unequivocally opposite paths forward. Andrea is authorised to replenish her work assent for dual some-more years — so that’s her evident plan, though after that, it’s unknown.

Claudia has a some-more permanent solution. She and her fiancé, Marc Jorge, who is a U.S. citizen, motionless to pierce adult their wedding. Once they’re married, Claudia can request for a some-more permanent status.

“If it would have been me, we would have been like – ‘Let’s wait, in a church, with a relatives and a ceremony,’ ” Claudia says. “We have to do this a right way.” But he unequivocally wanted to pierce brazen immediately, she says.

Andrea De La Vega watches as her sister Claudia gets married during a Austin courthouse.

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Andrea De La Vega watches as her sister Claudia gets married during a Austin courthouse.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Claudia and Marc have antiquated for 3 years, though have famous any other given they were 15. “He’s helped me grow as a chairman so much,” she says. “He’s only a many genuine, amicable chairman I’ve ever met.”

So Marc, Claudia, Andrea and their relatives went to a building in downtown Austin where they had a brief rite with a judge. Andrea sealed a matrimony certificate as a witness. Marc and Claudia are now legally married … forward of their large matrimony in December.

Claudia can move a paperwork to get permanent residency like her relatives and youngest brother. But she still worries about her other dual siblings.

“I feel so guilty about it,” Claudia says. “If we were in their shoes, we wouldn’t know what to do.”

Andrea says she’s perplexing to stay hopeful. She wants Congress to residence immigration remodel so people like her can feel protected in a place they call home.

“It’s very, unequivocally upsetting to feel like we don’t unequivocally have a place where we belong,” Andrea says. “I mean, we don’t unequivocally go in Mexico – given many of us haven’t been there in years and years and years – and we don’t go here given literally a government’s revelation we that we don’t go here.”