Kean graduate’s life as a Dreamer
By Rafaela Teixeira | Published Oct. 21, 2017
Thainara Ramos, graduated from Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2016. She recently shared her story as a Dreamer under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Born in Brazil, Ramos came to the U.S at five years old along with her parents by Visitor Visas (B-1, B-2), a temporary staying in the US for business and pleasure. Instead, they overstayed their welcome.
Her parents have a low chance of being deported because of their second daughter having been born in N.J.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) declined to pursue her parents’ case by exercising prosecutorial discretion despite them overstaying their Visa.
However, Ramos received a deportation letter on the month of her 18th birthday. She went through a two-year process in immigration court to prove that she was eligible to reside in the U.S.
She had a lawyer present to insure the court recognized her as a suitable citizen. Together, they gathered notarized letters from friends, teachers and coaches. The letters described the kind of person she is.
During this process, she mentioned that she was a student athlete, she did not have a criminal record and was employed.
Ramos’s case was set to be finalized in Aug. 2012, but former President Obama signed DACA just two months before.
“You can only imagine my heart through all this,” said Ramos. “As a young girl I had no idea what was going on and I was definitely not as calm and understanding as I am now.”
DACA has allowed her to drive, attend college without any issues, own a car and she is not restricted to certain jobs. Ramos can also invest her money and have a career with her degree.
“I feel like DACA, in a way, recognized me as part of the American community”, said Ramos.
President Trump has given Congress six months to find a replacement on the matter, reported The New York Times on Sept. 3.
“I believe Trump’s intentions are to change a few things around but permanently make DACA part of immigration law,” said Ramos.
If Congress fails to do so, she will potentially face deportation and move to a country she only knows through the internet and the experience of others.
She recognizes how different her life would be if she is forced out of the U.S. “
There is a slim chance I’d be able to drive, I wouldn’t be able to go out after a certain time, I wouldn’t be able to go out to eat as often or when I like. Making good money is close to impossible especially because I’m not very literate in Portuguese,” said Ramos.
Normal things in America like washing machines, air conditioning and long showers are only available to those of higher economic class.
Although Ramos is active in the Brazilian American culture in N.J, she will face culture shock and have to readjust herself to a different life that she doesn’t know first hand.
Other limitations she will face is the possibility of obtaining a job. She is fluent in speaking Portuguese, but only has a third grade level in reading and writing skills.
The academic aspect of her life in America will be of little value in Brazil because of different laws and education.
The thought of being deported lingers in her mind, but she doesn’t allow herself to be afraid of what might happen.
Ramos doesn’t believe that the government can deport 800,000 young immigrants. However, she understands that anything can happen in the future and she will continue to pursue a degree in nursing and build a life in the U.S.
“It’s scary to think that you have no exact control of your future. Being dependent of so much really does affect your mental state,” said Ramos. “I often ask myself if it’s even worth doing everything I’m doing, but then I snap out of it because I know everything will work out for the best.”