DACA recipients, American in every way but on paper, worry about their future

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Remember that when Congressional Republicans refuse to act on the bipartisan DREAM Act and protect 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who are now vulnerable to deportation following Donald Trump ending the program, they’re talking casting out hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrant youth, like Vincent Ronquillo, who remember no other home but the United States:

Ronquillo is watching closely. I first met him while covering a protest in November 2016. He has lived in California since he was 7 years old, balancing work, family, and the strains of being in legal limbo. I wanted to know what it’s like to live like this, so we’ve kept in closer touch over the last few months through in-person interviews, home videos, and emailed voice-memos.

What does he think of the continued squabbles over his right to call himself an American? “They’re playing with our lives,” he says. As I listened to him drop references to Power Rangers, Thanksgiving, and his small business, Vincent’s life struck me as routinely American—with the notable exception that it all might be ripped out from under him.

“I love film, I love music, I grew up with … I mean, everything,” the 33-year-old dad told Mother Jones in an Instagram video series. “Anything from like Glen Campbell, to like Stevie Wonder. I grew up watching those cartoons on Saturday morning. I grew up with Power Rangers. I might not look how you think Americans should look like … but I celebrate July 4th just like anybody else.”

Ronquillo is like any other American, he just needs the chance to become it on paper. Call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today at 855-336-0788 and demand he pass a clean Dream Act before going home in December.

Watch the Instagram video series below.