Dreaming of an American Education

Written and Filmed by Ruben Hernandez[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Living the American dream is something that many people have chased for years.  For those living in the United States, it can be achieved with a great amount of effort and relentlessness. However, those who have found their way into the states from another country have a few extra obstacles to overcome. Alex Albino, a Dreamer and DACA recipient, is one of these people.

“I was born in Celaya, Mexico,” Albino said. “More specifically in the state of Guanajuato. My family and I moved to a smaller town, but at the age of eight we relocated to the United States because my parents were having legal issues with a small business that we had. We came to the States to support ourselves and live a better life.”

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act protects young immigrants from the risk of deportation. With the potential repeal of this act currently being discussed among political and governmental entities, Dreamers, like Albino, have to be aware now more than ever.

“While I have four siblings, my older brother, my twin brother and I are the ones protected by DACA,” Albino said. “There are some things you have to do in order to be eligible to be protected, which some people don’t know about. I’m not sure how much trouble a 16 year-old can get into, but part of the process was me having to undergo a background screening. My older brother was also drug-tested.”

Albino is one of thousands of immigrants with protection under DACA. However, that is only a first step towards the end goal of American citizenship.

“They checked if we were going to school or not at that time,” Albino said. “They also checked things like what year we came into this country and how old we were. In the end, they gave us what is similar to an ID, but instead is basically a work permit. It lets me work anywhere in the United States.”
  Albino says that there is plenty to the process of becoming protected and keeping his DACA status, especially in the legal sense. However, when it comes to daily life in the U.S., Albino and his family want to live their American dream.

“We try not to stand out as much,” Albino said. “That’s especially due to the current administration, and because we aren’t from here. We just live life; we pay our taxes, work day-by-day, and strive. We also try to stay out of trouble, simply because we are trying to become good citizens of this country.”

  In his time since moving here, Albino believes that he has found a good place to start and make something of himself. He’s found many opportunities that he says wouldn’t have been presented in Mexico.

  “Socially, I think I’m striving,” Albino said. “I try to be as social of a person as I can. Also, some people think that it is difficult learning English, but I will say that English is one of my strongest subjects. Growing up here – for the most part – I’ve grown culturally attached to the language.”
Many DACA recipients have the common goal of wanting to live a normal, American life. While the political side of the DACA discussion may be a constant debate, no words are necessary to understand the peace that many immigrants are wanting to obtain for themselves.

“I’m personally appreciative,” Albino said. “I’m appreciative for every day I’m here, and I would not trade it for a moment in Mexico. In general, I think we’re all living for the American dream. I love being able to stay in the country and being able to enjoy the opportunities that others have.”

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