Los Angeles, California.- More than 200 young “dreamers” anxiously await the approval of a special permit to travel to Mexico in order to complete an academic year, visit relatives they have not seen for years, and meet again. with its roots.
Divided into five groups, the young beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, wait for the federal government to approve their advance reentry permits, known as “Advance Parole”, to travel in the program organized by the Center of California-Mexico Studies (CMSC).
For Mayra Garibo, a young Mexican DACA recipient, this trip marks an important closure in her life and has deep emotional motives.
Mayra was preparing to travel on a similar course at the end of 2017 when the government of then-President Donald Trump suspended the dreamer’s program and consequently did not grant travel permits.
In January 2018, Mayra’s father died in Mexico and despite insistent requests, the young woman did not obtain a permit to travel, neither to the funeral nor later.
“We have fought so much for that permission and finally I will have the opportunity to say goodbye to my father, go to his grave and close that chapter,” Mayra said in an interview with Efe.
“What I have been doing all this time is fighting to obtain this permit, so for me, it is a very great opportunity,” said the young woman, who currently works coordinating the CMSC groups that will travel since May.
For the university professor Armando Vázquez Ramos, creator and director of CMSC and the Study Abroad Program, this is a very special opportunity for many young people who, since they arrived in the United States as children, have not been able to visit their country of origin again.
“A fundamental requirement of the program is to write a ten-page essay that reflects the experience of his return to Mexico,” said Vázquez Ramos in statements to Efe.
“We want to publish the stories of the lives of these young people and later we plan to integrate them into a documentary,” added the academic, assuring that “in the entire country there is no other organization that gives dreamers this opportunity to travel to their country.”.
At the moment there are 85 young people who, divided into two groups, make up the Winter Program and plan to travel at the end of May, explained to Efe Lidiet Arévalo, a young Salvadoran recipient of DACA, executive assistant, and multimedia director of CMSC.
Another 141 youth applied for the Summer Program and are scheduled to travel in three groups between July 15 and August 22.
TO THE REUNION WITH THE ORIGINS
For Carlos Eduardo Cornejo, one of the dreamers who have been accepted into the first CMSC group that will leave Los Angeles on May 15 and will return on June 20, it represents a great illusion to go to know the country where he was born.
“It is a really very internal expectation: I want to reconnect with a part of my origin that is an essence of me, and together with it I will be able to see everything with a broader dynamic,” said Cornejo, who in a few months will obtain a degree in psychology.
The young man, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco state, was brought by his parents to the United States more than 21 years ago when he was one and a half years old. However, he learned to speak Spanish perfectly and inherited another fundamental trait in his family: music.
Cornejo has worked with a mariachi while continuing his academic studies, and the opportunity to go to Mexico “to be able to share my story with all my cousins and my family” fills him with emotion.
Itzel Pérez, originally from the state of Puebla, traveled in 2016 on a similar program from New York and now hopes to return to her native Mexico.
“I return grateful. It is a good opportunity to see my family again and it is also a victory; It is further proof that young immigrants are an essential part of this country, ”said Pérez, who works with the American Friends Service Committee, an organization that defends the rights of immigrants.
For this activist who was part of the groups of dreamers who campaigned intensively before federal legislators in Washington to ask for the reopening of DACA and the approval of the Advance Parole, traveling to her country again gives her hope for immigration reform.
“We are part of America (United States), like it or not. As a result of this pandemic (of covid-19), it has been seen that many dreamers are essential workers. Without us the country falls and even so they have not given us citizenship ”, claimed the activist.
The DACA program was created in June 2012 by an administrative decree of then-President Barack Obama and suspended by the Government of Donald Trump in September 2017 as unconstitutional.
By court order, as of December 4, 2020, the program again began accepting renewals and Advanced Parole requests, among other benefits.
On January 20, 2021, newly inaugurated President Joe Biden reinstated DACA through an executive order.
An immigration reform bill presented by Biden to Congress offers, among other things, a definitive path to citizenship for dreamers.