Journalism In Verse

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What I Remember about DACA on the Eve of Its Repeal

in Politics/U.S. by

I remember the shouts of joy when DACA was signed in 2012.

I remember being told, “It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we can do for now.”

I remember the full-page newspaper ads for immigration lawyers.

I remember the call in public radio shows, “Ask us your DACA application questions.”

I remember the USCIS flowcharts distributed to nonprofits. Please give these to your clients.

I remember the battery of prerequisites for qualification.

Did you come to the United States before your 16th birthday?

Were you under the age of 31 as of June 15th, 2012?

Have you continuously resided in the United States since June 15th, 2007?

Are you currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school or have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate?

If not, are you an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States?

Have you been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety?

I remember all the Proof of Evidence documents required once applicants made it through the flowchart. Plus forms 1-821D, I-765, I-765SW, all applicable fees and the requirement for renewal every two years.

I remember the notices for applicants to appear for biometric services.

I remember my friends who applied still felt really nervous.

I remember trying to convince myself that we should take what we could get until we could get something better. That Deferred Action just meant a deferred Path to Citizenship. That Deferred Action was not just the scraps of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform that died in Congress.

I remember Donald Trump saying, “We love dreamers; we love everybody…the dreamers are terrific!” just three days before tweeting, “Congress, get ready to do your job-DACA!”

I remember a friend told me he wasn’t going to apply because DACA was a trap. He said, “If I sign that paper, then later, when they are trying to get rid of us, they’ll have proof I was here.”


Read More:
DACA student: Deporting me and 800,000 dreamers is a man-made disaster that will be terrible for US [Fox News]
DACA & DAPA: The Downsides [The Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice]

Abigail Carl-Klassen has been published in ZYZZYVA, Cimarron Review, Guernica, Aster(ix) and Post Road. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets 2015. She earned an MFA from the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual Creative Writing Program and taught at El Paso Community College and the University of Texas El Paso.

Image by Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva entitled “Immigrants”.

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