The life of an immigrant DACA Dreamer

Immigrant turned DACA student takes us through the process of being a Dreamer and getting a college education.


Domenica Padron a senior at Montclair State University has been through a lot for a typical college student. Domenica who is a DACA student takes us through the hardships she faced when she first came to the United States and how her parents have been her motivation to get a college education as an undocumented immigrant. This story is important because there are many other DACA students who’s stories go untold because of fear.

NJ Dreamer Statistics

Montclair State University DACA Event

Instagram Story

The Dream Act

“Dreamer housholds generate $15.5 billion in federal taxes and $8.5 billion in state and local taxes, and they hold $66.4 billion in spending power. Collectively, Dreamers own 144,000 homes and pay $1.5 billion each year in mortgage payments.”

Americanprogress.org

One of the least talked about issues in this countries is immigrant education life on a day to day basis. Politicians talk about how to prevent immigrants from coming to this country, and how to limit their capabilities but education especially higher education is not as talked about. One of the most important immigrant acts is the Dreamers act. The dreamer’s act was a bill in Congress that would have granted legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and went to school here. (ADL).

The dreamer’s act which is present in California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin was introduced in 2001, turned down in 2010, and reintroduced in 2011. California was the first state to actually have the act passed in October of 2011.

The qualifications to be a DACA student are “to have come to the United States under the age of 18,entered four years prior to enactment and has since been continuously present, has not been convicted of a crime where the term of imprisonment was more than a year, or convicted of three or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence was 90 days or more, and has been admitted to an institution of higher education, has graduated high school or obtained a GED, or is currently enrolled in secondary school or a program assisting students to obtain a diploma or GED.”(AIC).

Different colleges across the United States have different policies in admitting undocumented immigrants which is one reason why not every state has DACA in place. In the state of New Jersey, there are over 22,000 DACA recipients. Also 25,000 DACA recipients have also been renewed for the act even after their first eligibility term came to an end. Dreamers in the state of New Jersey come from the following countries, Mexico, Korea, Ecuador, Guatemala, and India. Mexico comes in at number one with 25%, then Ecuador and Korea come in at 6%, with India and Guatemala making up the rest at 5% each. Compared to other states New Jersey ranks 9th in the number of dreamers. California has 222,795 and Texas has 124,300. In New Jersey 56% of DACA recipients are male and 44 are female.

According to data obtained by the American Progress Organization “ Dreamers are employed in nearly every occupation, with an estimated 159,000 working in food preparation and serving, an estimated 147,000 working in sales, an estimated 125,000 working in construction, and an estimated 124,000 working in office and administrative support. (Americanprogress.org). “Households that include Dreamers make massive contributions to the U.S. economy. Currently, however, these contributions are under as much threat as Dreamers’ futures. Annually, households that include Dreamers generate $15.5 billion in federal taxes and $8.5 billion in state and local taxes, and they hold $66.4 billion in spending power. Collectively, Dreamers own 144,000 homes and pay $1.5 billion each year in mortgage payments.” With such a high number of contributions being made by dreamers the law has a bright future in getting passed in more states because it is effecting the economy in a positive way. With over 460,000 people nationwide receiving help from this act it would be beneficial for both sides to continue the legislation of this law.

Check out #MontclairMultimedia #FocusImmigration on social media for more!

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