DACA participants hoping way found to stay in U.S.

Jessica Fuller • Updated Dec 6, 2017 at 10:35 PM

For 800,000 immigrants in the United States, the future is a terrifying haze. 

Activists gathered in Founders Park Wednesday night in solidarity with a nationwide rally to demand a new Dream Act before Christmas. More than 11,000 immigrants planned to march in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, a day before congressional leaders are expected to meet with President Donald Trump to discuss the year-end spending package,

The activists joined voices with members of Congress who have called for a legislative fix on the immigration issue to be sealed in the year-end deal.

Karla Jimenez is one of those immigrants, whose parents brought her to the United States when she was just a year old. Twenty years later, Jimenez has graduated from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology as a licensed practical nurse, but doesn’t know if she’ll be able to stay in the U.S. to work after March or if she will be forced to go to a country she doesn’t know. 

“If I was to lose my DACA, I wouldn’t be able to work or go to school, I would lose my driver’s license,” she said. “So basically, we would be at nothing here and this has become our home, so it would put us going somewhere we don’t know so our future would be unknown. That’s tragic.” 

Jimenez is one of about 400 recipients in the 1st Congressional District, and more students, nurses and teachers would follow her out of the country without a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. 

“We’re just students trying to add to the community, we don’t take anything away from others here, we don’t get financial funding,” Jimenez said. “So if we go to school, we’ve worked very hard for it. We just want to be able to have a good future here.”

Email Jessica Fuller at jfuller@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.

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