Thanks to President Obama, My American Dream Won't Become a Nightmare

This is my family's American Dream story. I am a divorced, single mother, and an undocumented immigrant. I have resided in the United States for almost 30 years.

We came from Pakistan, a country known for its government abuse, torture, and violence against women. My father, a customs agent, and my mother, an elementary school teacher, knew that the future of their two daughters in Pakistan held limited opportunities. So when I was 3 years old, my parents gave up everything and moved to the U.S. in search of a better life for their children.

We first arrived in California, but I grew up in Florida. While many of my friends went on vacations with their families, shopping trips with their mothers, and sports events with their fathers, I grew up seeing my parents work seven days a week to make ends meet. Yet, my siblings and I understood that these were necessary sacrifices for our new life as immigrants. However, I never once thought of myself as undocumented.

It was not until I was 16 years old and decided to obtain a driver's license that I first encountered my undocumented status. I did not understand why I was unable to obtain a license and live a normal life like my friends. However, once I came to the realization of my true status, or lack thereof, I took action. I enrolled at Broward College when I was 17 through the dual enrollment program – which allows eligible high school students to simultaneously attend college part-time – and continued to work two jobs. I applied for various scholarships and even obtained a Tax Identification Number so that I could work and help support my family. Similarly, my brother earned his bachelor's degree at Broward, and my sister completed a certificate program from the University of Miami, both paying for their tuition themselves. They are now both married to U.S. citizens and are current lawful permanent residents.

However, in early 2012, my life changed immeasurably: I became a mother. My daughter was born with a cleft palate inside of her throat, which affects her hearing. She's had hearing tubes placed with a minor outpatient surgery and is scheduled to undergo another surgery within the next couple of months. Monday through Friday, I would wake up at 4 a.m. to take my daughter on a two-hour bus ride to her day care, commute to work, and then get home at 8 p.m. I constantly worried about my ability to support my daughter and my lack of a stable mode of transportation. Would I be able to find and afford the kind of medical care my daughter needed? If my undocumented status became known, would I be deported and separated from my daughter?

The president's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) gave my daughter a second chance at life. I was at the surgeon's office for a pre-operation appointment for my daughter, who was 6 months old at the time, when President Obama made the announcement in 2012 about the new program. I cried in the exam room when I got the call from an attorney I knew. To know that I would finally be able to provide a better life for my daughter was an immense relief. In my home country, doctors do not visit or conduct surgeries unless the full payment has first been made, no matter how deadly the case. I know that I would not have been able to find the kind of medical care that my daughter needs.

When the president announced the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability Program (DAPA) in November 2014, I felt like I would no longer have to be scared of my own shadow. The thought that, even though temporary, I could spend a few years not worrying about losing my daughter or being deported was an exciting moment.

My mother also qualifies for the DAPA program. I currently hold a work permit through DACA, but I too qualify for DAPA because of my daughter. I am grateful that my mother and I can qualify for relief after all the struggles we faced throughout the years.

Learn more about anti-immigrant laws and other civil liberty issues: Sign up for breaking news alertsfollow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

View comments (13)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

This has absolutely nothing to do with civil liberties in the United States. It's not an ACLU matter as you are not a US citizen and have had no right to enter our country like this. You are clearly educated enough to know that you cannot rightfully enter any foreign country illegally.

Your story is one of great pain and suffering. The circumstances you are in are not good. The cause you wish to pursue is one you can take up personally and with other organizations in which it might make sense - perhaps organizations which are close to Barack Obama. However, if anything, the ACLU must promote the rule of law, not the dilution of it. In the end, this is all the ACLU has to stand on.

Anonymous

My question is, since this women flew here on a plane, how can she be undocumented? She arrived at an airport which had customs agents, which means that at the very least she entered the US legally. Admittedly she entered as a child, but even children are recorded by customs. She does have documentation, the documentation simply states that she was supposed to leave a long time ago. She is not undocumented, but she is illegal. If someone broke into your house and had a child, does that mean you now have to allow that child to live their? No, it does not. Yet if someone breaks into the country and has a child, that child is allowed to stay. What happened to this country?

Anonymous

you broke the law and this criminal manchurian candidate president should not even be in the whitehouse. Barry Soetoro has already made all of our american dreams a nightmare allowing you here and he is ruining this country by helping ISIS and keeping the border open for illegals like you to come here. We dont want to join his elites handlers NWO.

RRR

Are you married?

Anonymous

My comment has not yet been posted. The ACLU claims to be fore free speech, yet censors comments.

Anonymous

Are NO any anti immigrant Law, not yet, but be will over a time. ACLU Lawyer no have any sense in what are a Law and respect and enforce. Is not what small minority won, are what a majority won. First majority of American won out all illegals like a illegal insane President, plus won start ban Law license to many insane call Lawyers for abusing and corruption. Any alien come illegal must be deported and who are here illegal live and working must jail time and deported. If all ACLU Lawyer know about a real Laws are a President, not only are illegal, but are illegal all doing, Lawyer who see different must set out business. For what was going to school? for later ignore Laws, make million and powers? use politic view for rules, never a Law, and know Lawyer are not above Law. Here are another Civil War around a corner, and are a only way recover sanity and Republic, insane liberals don't won accept are minority? can accept are loose? are Laws and rules who CAN'T change?But in a war are a way for clean corrupt forever, liberals must cease of exist like illegal ACLU. Can abuse a power but never be will escape for a real Justice.

Anonymous

Is allowing and promoting illegal immigration now an ACLU cause? I need to know now because I and certainly others are not going to be interested in supporting the ACLU this way.

This is a key issue. I am definitely not going to support the ACLU if they are, and I have no idea what the ACLU is doing promoting illegal immigration. This is about the most non-relevant, non-germane, abjectly ironic topic that the ACLU could ever take on. Think about it! It's all about undoing the rule of law! I honestly can't think of a worse thing the ACLU could do than take up this issue!

Worst of all, whoever wrote the facebook link to this article is making the ACLU out to be a LIAR. The post says the recent ruling was in regards to "4.5 million undocumented immigrants". This is about the most bizarre way you can describe illegal immigrants.

Foreigners do not have a "right" to enter our country illegally, break our labor laws, tell us what to do, and then try to blame us for their own actions which put them in this situation. What in the world is the ACLU doing? And WHY is it doing this???

Ending abuse against illegal immigrants is one things. Campaigning to allow illegal immigration is another. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with civil liberties. Again, the debate over deporting illegal immigrants has ZERO to do with American civil liberties. Illegal immigrants have ZERO right to be here. The ACLU would be way out in left field campaigning for this. I can not and will never support the ACLU if they wish to take up this cause. I would have to find another organization which more closely matched reality.

Anonymous

Good God! you people are cold hearted.

Anonymous

The ACLU, intentionally or not, shares the liberal blind-spot that prohibits any sense of pragmatism and causes "life is not fair" to be interpreted as a challenge rather than wisdom to prevent foolish pursuits. These are two consecutive lines from ACLU comment policy:

"Given our nonprofit status, we may not endorse or oppose candidates for elective office. That means we cannot host comments on our site that show a preference for one candidate or party."

These statements are not logically connected, and the level of irony required is all I need to conclude that, yes, the ACLU would ABSOLUTELY CENSOR comments, the FREE SPEECH of AMERICANS, while the bleeding hearts who post inconceivably irresponsible propaganda that canonize Mr. Obama for actions that subverted our system of government, weakened this country, and desecrated the Constitution, which even the ACLU should recognize as symbolic resignation since the document defines the office and is the source of its power; if Mr. Obama decides to step outside Article II, he ceases to be a US President, not to mention FLAGRANTLY violates the Oath of Office. Where was the ACLU at these moments? American Civil Liberties have NEVER been at GREATER RISK than during the two-term sentence when NOT ONE elected official stood against the unchecked and unauthorized acts of Mr. Obama, who - BY DEFINITION, BY THE WORDS OF ARTICLE II - is NOT A US PRESIDENT. He has stepped into an undefined, no-man's-land, and the ACLU may want to consider what will stop similar abuses by any successor. The Constitution has not changed, but it is not a light switch to be switched on or off at will, or dimmed for convenience.

US President is NOT a title, and one does not become a US President simply by being elected. US President is a JOB, a set of RESPONSIBILITIES that are NOT for the shy, weak, childish, pouty, or indecisive. If the elected fails to fulfill these obligations - or, in this case, completely disregards them or even acts contrary to them - then it is the DUTY of those who ARE ABLE to initiate his removal from office as quickly as possible - for the good of the PEOPLE and the health of a NATION - and expeditiously organize a second national presidential election to determine a replacement.

The ACLU is forced to examine every issue in a vacuum like most liberals because both live in the world of should be and hope. This makes conservatives look like the heavy or the heartless, but if votes are based on who is more likable or popular or deluded (Yes, we can!) - think Prom Court - we'll always be in trouble. THIS PRESIDENT WAS ELECTED BY TWITTER, a community of FOLLOWERS, who were manipulated and mobilized with the ease one would expect.

This country has been BEYOND lucky so far. There are some who believe our currency is still backed by gold when it is nothing more than IOUs from Uncle Sam that are supported by FAITH in our GOVERNMENT'S ability to REPAY it. What happens when the world decides to adopt a currency other than the dollar? While I don't see this as likely in the near future, it is not outside the realm of possibility - and let's not forget China's increasing ownership stake in this country and the sociopathic nature of companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook, which are suddenly the BFFs of everyone on the internet when, before "net neutrality" (this term is beyond specious - every user who opens a browser is immediately assaulted by ads, must be current on his annual subscription to anti-virus, firewall, and anti-malware, not to mention own devices like AdTrap or constantly tweak browser extensions and other utilities that block Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other clandestine data mining companies) these companies were distant and secretive, without use for you. The American public SENSELESSLY LEAPT TO DEFEND these fair-weather fleecers while RIPPING the NSA for doing what Google, et al. either already are doing or would be doing if they had the capability and a legal team headed by Lucifer. Here's why this is 100% FUBAR:

On September 11, 2001, a gutless, cowardly group of hypocrites sponsored by a far more petty and far more cowardly Osama bin Laden, whose group al-Qaeda is nothing more than - HERE IS WHERE THE PRESS SHOULD PAY ATTENTION BECAUSE THERE MIGHT BE SOMETHING HERE THAT SOME MEMBERS WOULD FIND TO BE THE DESPICABLE PERVERSION OF RELIGION THAT IT IS - a petty, pathetic man's personal vendetta operation against the United States, which he (OBL) blamed for the death of two relatives based on the facts below:

1. One relative was killed when the private plane he rode in crashed. The plane was piloted by an American, who also cleverly died.

2. The second relative was killed when the private plane HE was piloting crashed. I'll leave it to readers to decide whether the Texas power lines it flew into were deliberately moved in front of the plane or if the plane's pilot was unaware that his altitude was less than 1000 ft, possibly around 200 ft.

I suppose Osama Bin Drama wasn't super jazzed about his home country, Saudi Arabia, hiring the US before he'd finished pouting and, after a transition from pouting to petulence, showing him the back desert since, as it turns out, DISTRUPTIVE is nothing more than DISTRUPTIVE.

So now he's dead and that solved nothing, but did confirm my suspicion that Mr. Obama could use several rounds of imaging studies on his brain, which would at least forestall another proudly ordered assassination of a foreign citizen in a country that technically was not Afghanistan (some countries become uncomfortable or even defensive when other countries cross their borders without calling ahead. Of course, the most impressive aspect of all of this is that the Mr. Obama, who I assume was suffering a severe case of the boohoos when US Special Forces did exactly as they were ordered rather than secure the scene so Obama could show up in camos and pull the trigger himself, which is what the world would expect from a country that, until 2008, was aware of the importance of keeping its values even when not keeping them would be more fun (maybe it's just me, but it seems there should have been at least a show trial somewhere other than the US, but I don't think Obama would have been allowed to act as judge and wear a custom black robe adorned with newly established (via executive action) medals like the superlative "Most Likely to B-a-rackin' Your World" and "Obama Do what Obama Do," though the latter had to be abbreviated ODWOD. I have complete faith that a total mockery of civilization would have ensued, since that is the hallmark of Mr. Obama who would be wise to not claim the White House as a home office and is likely almost 7 years delinquent on rent. Thankfully his Residential Library only has to reflect how his efforts set this country back about 4 millenia (the time when the first codified laws appeared so people could know what the laws were and not be subject to laws that were invented on the spot for convenience - on a related note, Oxford Dictionary has admitted Obamacare as a word in its online resource, and anyone who is interested in reading the official definition of the defining achievement of Mr. Obama (i.e. soiling the Constitution, taking the back way around Congressional Approval, ensuring any challenges were scheduled during Supreme Court nap time (the SC may have been the biggest failure of all since it was NOT presented with a legitimate law and should have thrown out the case AND declared some sort of statutory unconstitutionality before tossing the Obamadon in GitMo for wasting the court's time, sullying the nation's highest office, and letting personal bias, ambition, or desire for attention to interfere with his sworn commitment to serve the American people - and the one word of that I consider a small joke inside a big snafu is GitMo; how about writing Article II 100 times on a chalkboard? It's only 1000 words or so and then he would not be able to pull whatever con he's planning next. Who wants to bet he caps off a solid 8 years of ZERO legitimate accomplishments (that's right, EVERY LAST ACT he declared law as Jester MUST be repealed and nullified if this nation wants to elect another president and not have a worse outcome, which would have occurred sooner if Mr. Obama could dress himself without needing a nap; in other words, you can stand for ONE nation and its Constitution, or a cowardly cretin who solved nothing by cheatin'.

I'm going to end here. I presume this will be censored, so I'll just take snap of this page since it's far more important for people to know what the ACLU has become, though a dose of truth that harms none but the ignorant wouldn't hurt either. Cheers!

Anonymous

The ACLU is no different from any other bunch of lawyers. It likes making headlines, though it has a greater air of pretentiousness and takes on issues individually in a vacuum, similar to liberals, such that a solution may emerge but it won't even approach pragmatic since all other solutions are equally based on the premise that life can be fair if we all love each other and form a human chain that stretches from here to the Bermuda Triangle or wherever it is that Obama's near-decade long urination on our Constitution won't cause anyone to: lose his job, lose his family, lose his savings, lose his house, and finally, using the only control he has left, lose (more accurately, take) his life. Obama has stolen 2.4 billion years of human life (US pop x 8 year sentence). In 8 years, he has accomplished nothing legitimately. Voters are not to blame for this since it is not reasonably foreseeable that Obama - either before or after he was kicked out of the Clinton Communication To Calm a Nation course (AKA "How to Look a Person in the Eyes, Lie, and Get a Hug and Another Vote") - would turn into Jeckyl, Hyde, Frankenstein's Monster, and Cybil, though anyone who does not outsource thoughts to the nearest celebrity or store the only proof of his existence on Twitter (the network of followers that elected a president and got a resident now 7 years behind on rent - it turns out that president is an actual job, a responsibility, and it is deliberately defined narrowly in Article II of the Constitution, which is roughly 1000 words, or a 5 minute read, if one takes a 3 minute break after finishing - and the reason why? You'll love this - because, with the role of Congress defined in a similarly narrow manner, it was thought that this country should not ever be subject to the tyranny of a King or, in the case of today, the bologna of a Jester).

FYI: This would be an EXCELLENT time to stop raining indiscriminate praise and limitless resources on our intrepid young people who might accidentally grow up if they live to 120, but so far have absolutely zero skills, common sense, creativity, or anything but derivative iterations of the Steve Jobs "people are stupid; offer them easy, and they'll subscribe for life" business model, which was perpetrated on them during their now extended childhoods. Twitter elected the Obamadon. Twitter is a community of FOLLOWERS. People need to wake up and READ because I bet not ONE of you noticed (the media sure didn't, but they don't make money off of facts, they profit from agitating the public - sounds unAmerican to me, but most people already have to buy their opinions, so I guess they just need to pick the channel that makes them feel right) that our esteemed steaming pile set this country back 4 milennia (my goodness, it wasn't even a country back then) to around the time of the first codified law. Before that, laws were made up on the spot, and the same spot was usually where the convenient law resulted in an execution. TODAY, we have people who ALREADY PAY to be READ TO (it's not the same as reading, and yes it does make you a ridiculous person). There should be no library for Barack Bottom, unless its a busted flash drive with nothing on it. Oh, and if anyone values this country and its constitution (and would like to avoid the far worse travesty that would unfold if someone were elected who could, on his own, DRESS HIMSELF, lie like Clinton (you know, the lies that warm the hearts of the thoughtless because the words mean nothing next to the personal eye-contact and the thumbs up and the "I feel your pain"), and manage to act like a grownup (making Congress appear like the slow boat), everything that Bamallama decreed as Head Smurf of Dingledong - no matter how convenient it is to you or how much you were brainwashed by this sociopath or how strange it is that the Democratic party leadership has never formally expelled or terminated the membership of BarakaFraud - Harry Reid should clean up his face and at least deny any responsibility before admitting that he really doesn't care how this country gets screwed as long as it gets screwed to his music. By the Sunday talk shows, he should have another black eye. But the worst to come will be the young changelings elected recently - having never experienced or overcome a challenge personally, they require their environment to change (another tip of the hat to Steve Jobs for selling so much easy, an entire generation is now addicted to it - that's not innovation, invention or anything other than sinking to a lower level than others are willing to and taking advantage of the young and spineless through manipulative and pathetic turtleneck magic shows and a superiority complex that likely drove away the other Steve - Mr. W - since the actual innovator with the passion and the inspiration and, more importantly, all the work, can last for a while, but eventually the money man makes the work of the "I want people to see what these things can do" man (inventor of the mouse and anything resembling a user-considered GUI) seem cheap - I don't know if this is what happened, but I know how tragic it is when that fire is put out by a greedy con-artist. Anyway, there's a point in there somewhere. Find it or don't.

Pages

Stay Informed