Tualatin woman relieved, frustrated after DACA ruling
When Tualatin's Azucena Javier woke up Thursday morning following a night filled with anxiety attacks, she had only managed a single hour of sleep.
That's because she had been waiting for the past month in anticipation of how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule regarding whether to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which keeps many young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from being deported.
In a surprise decision, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to block President Donald Trump's attempt to end DACA, determining it was improper.
"I'm feeling a mixture of emotions," a DACA recipient wrote in an email Thursday morning. "Happiness. Anger. I cried tears of happiness when I heard the news. It gave me hope that this country does care about us."
At the same time, Javier, a 2017 Tualatin High School graduate, said she found it "infuriating finding out the Trump administration has hinted that it might be pursuing other avenues to end the program."
"Today's victory is a huge deal, but the fight is far from over," she said. "For now, I can breathe."
Javier, 21, said there are lots of unanswered questions, because no one really knows what the decision will mean.
"It's very frustrating," Javier said. "You think it's over but it's not over."
She outlined some of the questions the ruling didn't answer: "We don't know if it means new applications will be accepted. We don't know if advance parole will be back."
Javier and her family came to the United States in 2002 after her father determined there were more opportunities for them here. In 2004, her grandmother was murdered, she said, by police officers in Mexico. According to Javier, those responsible were able to buy their way out of jail and found out who helped send them to jail. That resulted in her entire family being threatened if they ever returned to Mexico, she said.
"That's the main reason my mom never let me go back and visit when I had the chance," she said.
Javier said she didn't apply for advance parole in the past because she was not educated enough about what it would do, nor did she understand what exactly it meant. But over the years, she has learned about DACA, and since 2018, she has taken four trips to Washington, D.C., to visit members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to share her story. She said her goal over the years has been to get them to understand "we're humans, that we deserve a chance to be here because this is all we've ever known."
Before it's too late, Javier said she would like to use advance parole to visit her grandfather, who is 80 years old and in declining health.
"I simply don't want to attend his funeral over FaceTime like so many of my friends have done in the past because their grandparents passed away and they're not able to go back to their home countries and visit and attend their funerals," Javier said.
Currently, Javier is attending PCC where she's pursuing a business major before transferring to a four-year college.
Actively involved with volunteering and leadership programs with the city of Tualatin since she was 13, Javier recently completed a city internship as a community engagement intern.
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