An undocumented teen who just started her freshman year of college has shared the heartbreaking note her mom wrote her after the Trump administration announced it was ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Karla Martinez, an 18-year-old student at Cal State University Long Beach, was supposed to take her driving test on Tuesday morning when she woke up and found her mom Tania had left her money to pay the fee for her test along with a note.
‘Here’s money so you can pay for your test, good luck baby. I’m left with my heart broken, they canceled the permit that you have,’ the mom wrote, referring to DACA.
Heartbreaking: Karla Martinez, 18, took to Twitter on Tuesday to share the note her mom wrote her after the Trump administration ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Emotional moment: ‘Here’s money so you can pay for your test, good luck baby. I’m left with my heart broken, they canceled the permit that you have,’ the mom wrote, referring to DACA
Karla just started college classes last week with the goal of becoming an ER nurse, and like most DACA recipients, known as DREAMers, she has lived in the US for most of her life.
She moved to Southern California from El Salvador with her mother when she was just six years old, and she has been working at Van’s in Huntington Beach, California, for the past two years.
Under the Obama-era program, illegal immigrants who arrived as children are allowed to live and work in the US without fear of deportation.
DACA provided temporary protection to nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, including Karla.
However, on Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it would be rescinding the policy.
DREAMer: Karla moved to California from El Salvador with her mom when she was six years old. The undocumented student started college at Cal State University Long Beach last week
Sharing her story: Before sending the tweet, only Karla’s close family and her boyfriend were aware that she was undocumented
‘I started crying when I read [the note],” Karla told BuzzFeed News. ‘I know my mom didn’t know what to say to me because when I got accepted it was the biggest deal ever. We’re both shocked and scared.’
Karla took a picture of her mother’s message and shared it on Twitter, but she promptly deleted it out of fear.
After some deliberation, she decided to re-post it, writing: ‘This is my mom giving me her hard earned money to take my written test for later today. Waking up to the news about #DACA was rough…’
Until that moment, only Karla’s close family and most recently her boyfriend were aware that she was undocumented.
‘You may not have known that I’m a DREAMER because it’s not something you usually introduce yourself with. My family is heartbroken for me…’ she explained on Twitter.
Living in fear: Karla admitted that she has woken up to her mother crying because she is terrified about what might happen to her daughter
Spreading the word: Karla stressed that the end of DACA is ‘actually affecting people’
Horrible: Although Karla knows she will be able to stay in the US until next September, she is unsure if she will be able to finish her degree in the US, the only country she knows as home
‘But they all continue to believe in what I’m capable of doing even without DACA, I got woken up with my mom crying bc of how scared she is.’
Karla added: ‘I just want to let everyone know Bc this is ACTUALLY REAL and is ACTUALLY affecting people, even some people you don’t even realize that are.’
The teen’s tweet went viral, with other DREAMers taking to the comments section of the post to share their own experiences.
‘The handwriting of hard working and well educated immigrant parent. My dad’s is exactly the same,’ wrote Ashley Contreras, while a woman named Elisa added: ‘It broke my heart seeing this.
TWITTER REACTS TO HER TWEET
‘Honestly I’m sharing your same suffering. Our parents are there to do everything and anything for us.’
Karla told BuzzFeed News that the responses brought her to tears because they made her feel less alone.
She is now in a group chat with several other DREAMers who contacted her after seeing her tweet.
Although Karla knows she will be able to stay in the US until next September, she is unsure if she will be able to finish her degree in the only country she knows as home.
‘I was ashamed of [being a DREAMer] because of what people think so it used to be a big secret but I felt it was important to speak out,’ she said.
‘Now so many people are experiencing the same thing. It’s ten times harder for us to do things and we work really hard and I just want people to understand.’