DACA opens a world of possibilities for a high school senior
Karla Sanchez is like a lot of graduating high school seniors – ready to leave home for the first time, unsure of her future. But unlike many of her classmates in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles, Karla had additional doubts about what would happen after graduation.
At age 2, Karla left her home country of Mexico and came to the U.S. with her parents. She grew up as an American but was always afraid that she could be deported at any time to a country she never called home. Without legal status, Karla’s future was uncertain and her opportunities were restricted.
Then Karla learned about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for immigrants brought to the U.S. as young children. At first, her parents had reservations about it, but Karla was willing to take the risk of exposure.
"I told my parents, sometimes in life you have to risk things," she said.
Karla went to Public Counsel’s Deferred Action Clinic for help in wading through the sea of application questions and DACA qualifications. The clinic has helped hundreds of students and young people come out of the shadows to pursue their college and career dreams. Public Counsel provides these youth with solid legal advice and assistance they could not otherwise afford.
When Karla received her work permit, she realized just how many opportunities await her now. Karla will enroll at Humboldt State University this fall, with a plan to study psychology and help other young people.
"I feel like I could conquer the world," she says.
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