Te Amo

Te Amo

Maricel Buendia came to the United States in hopes of a better life for herself and one day, her daughter. When she came in 1998, she left behind her three year old daughter, Camila. Four years later, Maricel had saved enough money to pay the same man who brought her to the United States to bring Camila to Virginia. At the age of seven, Camila made the journey from Argentina to cross the Mexican border and join her mother in Falls Church, Virginia. Eight years later, Camila is now a sophomore at Falls Church High School, as well as, a DREAMer. 

On October 28, 2014, Camila received her Deferred Action under the DREAM Act. She is one of approximately 1.4 million immigrants currently living in the U.S who meets the requirements of the Deferred Action initiative. As a DREAMer, Camila has been granted conditional permanent residency, an employment authorization card, and now has the option to pay in-state tuition rates. Camila has never felt like she wasn’t a citizen, but is excited for the opportunities that come with her Deferred Action. 

“I love being involved in different activities. My friends and teammates treat me like one of them and it doesn’t phase me that I don’t have the same rights as everyone else.”

Maricel is still one of 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S today. For the last twelve years, Maricel has worked multiple jobs to support Camila, paid her taxes, and contributed society every day. Despite Obama’s executive action and as a parent of a DREAMer, Maricel does not qualify for deferred action. 

“Until there is a new law, I can’t apply for citizenship,”

Maricel can’t take the chance of getting deported during the citizenship process. Camila and Maricel still do not know when or if they will ever gain full citizenship to the United States, but are taking the necessary steps to do so and living their daily lives as if they were.

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