Twenty-three years ago, Edy Aguilar came to the United States from Mexico.
“My parents decided to leave everything behind, including their families so they could provide my sisters and I with an education,” said Aguilar.
June 18 proved to be a great day for Aguilar and many others as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration acted illegally when it ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects from deportation non-U.S. citizens who were brought to this country illegally as children.
“Receiving the news that the Supreme Court decided to preserve the DACA program was so alleviating to me,” said Aguilar. “I know that all DREAMers will finally be resting well as this decision has restored hope.”
Aguilar took advantage of her parents’ decision years ago by getting an education. Today, she is an employee at Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) and lives in Dutton.
“There have been times in the past when I would become angry with them for making that decision for me,” she said. “I was two years old and had no control of what was going on in my world.”
Aguilar said she keeps in contact with family in Mexico and now understands why her parents sacrificed everything including their own lives.
“It’s sad to see how different my life is to the lives of my cousins,” she said. “Even when it seems like things are chaos here, I can assure you that we are still fortunate to live in this country.”
A 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court stopped the president’s efforts to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants.
Trump responded on Twitter, saying “These horrible & politically charged decisions coming out of the Supreme Court are shotgun blasts into the face of people that are proud to call themselves Republicans or Conservatives. We need more Justices or we will lose our 2nd Amendment & everything else. Vote Trump 2020!”
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion, joined by the court’s four more liberal members in upholding the program.
“We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote. “We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provided a reasoned explanation for its action.”
The program was announced in 2010 by President Barack Obama, allowing young people brought to the United States as children to apply for a temporary status that shields them from deportation and allows them to work. The status lasts for two years and is renewable, but it does not provide a path to citizenship.
Aguilar said the United States is her home,
“Maybe not on paper, but permanently in my heart,” she said. “I work to do my part and to serve my community to the best of my ability.”
She said she was nervous in anticipating the Supreme Court decision.
“I still have so much to do here,” said Aguilar. “And so many people to serve. I hope to see some kind of path to citizenship for the 700,000 DACA recipients who contribute to this nation just like a legal resident or citizen would.”