My name is Ixchel Hernandez, I am currently a DACA recipient. Thanks to DACA I can attend college and work. I grew up in a family of four and many of the hardships we faced always consisted of money. My parents worked hard to keep my brother and I well fed, clothed and educated. Like many Immigrant families, we studied for a better future and they worked to give us that future. They gave up a lot of family time in order to provide for us. We were taught to keep the windows closed, the doors always locked and we could certainly never answer the phone.
I am joining the tour because I want to encourage the Latino vote in other states and prove to people like Donald Trump and Ann Coulter that we are more than unfair accusations and stereotypes.We lived in fear; fear that one day the person knocking at my door was not my mom but instead it would be ICE. We feared that one night at 2 o’clock in the morning when my dad got off work he would never make it home. We feared that he would get pulled over for driving illegally. My father had to do many things that are considered illegal in order to provide for his family; he drove without a license for 15 years. Every time he’d be pulled over was not because he was driving a flashy car or going over the speed limit, it was because he is a brown man who drives at 2 o’clock in the morning coming home from an 8 hour shift. He is considered suspicious and dangerous because he is unable to get a job that would fit a reasonable schedule. He works at a luxurious high-end restaurant where the wealthy eat, but never the pain my father endured from having to work two jobs or else he could never pay the rent. Growing up I watched people I loved get treated unfairly because they don’t have legal status. My cousins have been deported for simply walking down a street. I grew up believing that because I had no legal status I would never be successful in this country. As an immigrant I watch my friends and classmates benefit from the “American dream” that I dreamed of having most of my life. Today, I am a student fighting to bring consciousness to our community who often can relate to my life.