Since President Obama announced the Deferred Action (DACA) program last June, more than 300,000 young people who were brought to the US under the age of 15 applied for the temporary status—one that would allow them to work and attend college legally. MPR choose to highlight one of the 53,000 approved DACA applicants, Irma Marquez, whose story of traveling from Mexico to St. James, MN, highlights the opportunities this new status will offer.
Before DACA, Irma excelled in high school and found independent financing to attend Gustavus Adolphus College, however, she could not attend a post-graduate nursing program she got into because of her lack of status. Now, with her approval in hand, she praised the program, "For the first time in years I had hope. I would feel more included in the term 'American' because there would be a legal way for me to contribute to a society that I've always felt a part of." ILCM Executive Director John Keller was quoted in the article saying that young people like Irma are “the best ambassadors. They aren't looking for a handout, but a hand of welcome to allow them to use the college careers they have miraculously been able to acquire against tremendous odds."
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