Living In Fear In The U.S.: Time To Take Her Education And Leave?

By Andrea Hernandez


Came to the United States without papers

Daniela Alulema and her parents came to the United States without papers. Ms. Alulema was allowed to stay and work under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals decision.
Ms. Alulema and her parents moved to this country from Ecuador without papers and their story was told in The New York Times in 2009. The parents — who earned technical degrees in Ecuador — wanted their children to get a solid education here. In the 15 years since they arrived, much has changed. The brother, who was born here, is an architect. The father — who pushed his children to excel and aim high — returned to Ecuador. The mother scrapes by babysitting for young professionals in Williamsburg.
And Ms. Alulema? In recent years she finished college and went on to get a master’s degree in public policy. Thanks to an Obama-era decision known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, she obtained permission to work and remain, and she now works for a migration policy group. For the first time, she felt as if she could breathe easy. But that was short-lived once Donald J. Trump was elected president after a campaign in which undocumented immigrants were used as rhetorical punching bags. The subsequent reports — and rumors — of arrests in immigrant communities have rattled her.

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