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'Goal accomplished': DACA recipient shares difficult journey to FIFA World Cup

Posted at 12:40 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 13:40:13-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — DACA continues to be at the forefront of many undocumented residents' minds.

Across the nation, nearly 600,000 people are hoping to continue to live in this country under the Obama-era legislation.

A country many have known exclusively as they've lived here the majority of their lives.

Samara Perez is a DACA recipient, seeking justice not just for herself, but for the many like her living with the daunting uncertainty of what may become of their legal status.

“[DACA affects] people from all nationalities – not just Latin people, so [the DACA program] is a huge help for us,” Perez said.

“We do hope that there will be a pathway to citizenship because honestly, DACA is not enough.”

One lead attorney agrees more needs to be done to take care of this huge population of people living in the U.S.

A group that pays about $9.4 billion in taxes every year as required under their legal status.

“They should be entitled to much more than that,” Xavier Chávez said, lead attorney of the Xavier Law Firm.

“They should be able to get a residency,

"They should be able to be placed on a path to citizenship... but to take away the very little that [DACA recipients] have – that would be a real travesty quite frankly.”

Since college, Perez has dedicated herself to advocating for dreamers.

As an influencer, Perez said her platform is dedicated to being transparent to other DACA recipients, letting them know... they're never alone.

Recently, Perez received the news she had been waiting on for a long time.

“[I’m] not only attending the [FIFA] World Cup but covering the [FIFA] World Cup as a journalist – It’s huge,” Perez said.

“Being a DACA recipient, that’s something exciting for me, that’s something I have been wanting to do since I was a little girl.”

After 16 years of being in the United States, Perez is now being allowed to leave the country to go cover the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Chávez says how Advanced Parole is helping people like Perez achieve their dreams.

“The important thing about Advanced Parole is that it not only allows folks like Perez to do things that are a part of their profession... but once they come back actually, they are considered something called “Admitted Parole” into the United States.”

Chávez says Admitted Parole helps people change the category of their immigration status to a “Just Status”, helping DACA recipients to potentially get a permanent residence on their path to citizenship.

While the legality of DACA remains in limbo, Perez says she'll continue to advocate.

All in the hope that one day, she and every Dreamer like her get to call the U.S. their forever home.