A federal judge earlier blocked U.S. President Obama’s plans to allow more undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and undocumented parents of U.S. citizens to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation. CCTV’s Andrea Arenas reported.
It’s been 15 years since Ingrid Vaca left her home in Bolivia. She is one of an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
Undocumented immigrants live in fear of deportationA federal judge earlier blocked U.S. President Obama’s plans to allow more undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and undocumented parents of U.S. citizens to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation. CCTV's Andrea Arenas reported.
Her advocacy work for immigrant rights has made her a prominent figure in the Hispanic community, particularly among the so-called “Dreamers,” young people who entered the country illegally as kids, and were able to qualify for deferred action on deportation-through a program put forth by U.S. President Obama in 2012.
“I’m proud of her because she fought for something that has benefited me and my brother and a lot of other kids in this country because without that we would not have been able to get drivers licenses or been able to get a job,” Diego Mariaca Vaca, son of Ingrid said.
Although Ingrid has fought for her family and her kids, there are no programs that could protect her from being deported. And she knows that if she leaves the United States, she may not be able to come back.
“I thank God that I go out and work, and I can buy things, but I feel like I am in a golden cage, where I can move only inside the cage, and I cannot get out of there,” Ingrid Vaca, an undocumented immigrant said.
Ingrid’s children are legally allowed to stay in the country, temporarily at least, thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. This “mixed status family” picture is very common among immigrant families.
“It’s sort of complex to understand, that some families are mixed status, which is that there are undocumented people, there might be permanent residents and citizens in one household, there are also families that just don’t have documentation,” Hareth Andrade, who is friend of Ingrid and DACA recipient said.
The Obama administration is appealing a U.S. court ruling – blocking the president’s effort to expand DACA – and also legally allow some parents of children born in the US to remain in the country. Announced late last year- the expanded program would benefit some 4.7 million more undocumented immigrants.
“Right now what we have seen is an over politicization of the process with the extremist Republican side taking over the issue of immigration, so it’s important to be focused and to be ready for implementation,” Hector Sanchez, the executive director of LCLAA, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, said.
Ingrid knows that regardless of what happens with the President’s plans, they won’t benefit her or millions of others in a similar position. Still, she said she remains committed to fight for the rights of other immigrants.