California Educator

October / November 2017

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Page 47 of 75

DACA teacher and CTA member is tired of living in fear Photo by Scott Buschman I N F E L I C I D A D ' S C L A S S R O O M hangs a "Dreamers Welcome" poster. Some- times her students confide that they are Dreamers, among the estimated 800,000 immigrants who were either brought to Amer- ica by their parents or crossed the border as teens without documentation. On occasion, she has shared that she is also a Dreamer and enrolled in DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program authorized by President Obama's executive order in 2012 providing deportation relief to undocumented immigrants who entered the country before age 16. Those who qualify can get a work permit or enroll as a student, but must reapply every two years. Felicidad (not her real name) is a CTA member and high school math teacher in San Bernardino County. She does not want to be identified because she fears that being in the limelight could bring her to the attention of authorities, even though she is registered with the government, or that media attention will spark negative reactions from others. "As soon as people find out I'm in DACA, they view me differently," she explains. "Some people think I shouldn't be here. Many are empathetic." President Trump announced an end to DACA on Sept. 5, but has indicated willingness to work with Democrats to extend DACA protec- tions. For Felicidad, the past few weeks have been a nightmare as she struggles to cope with fear and anxiety over an uncertain future. She is one of thousands of teachers in California schools enrolled in DACA. Here is her story. A Dream on Hold 46 Advocacy I M M I G R A T I O N

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