Caren Tinajer-Sanchez is a student affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) an American immigration policy that allows certain individuals who entered the U.S. illegally as minors to receive a renewable visa to be eligible for a work permit and attend college. Read about her experience below!
Question: Can you tell me about yourself.
A: My name is Caren Tinajero-Sanchez. I am currently a sophomore at The
University of Alabama at Birmingham pursuing a degree in Nursing. I
was born in Mexico City, Mexico and brought to Calera, Alabama at the
age of 6. I have two older brothers and a younger one.
Q: What were you dreaming of studying under DACA?
A: With DACA my dreams of becoming a nurse were finally starting to
come true. After getting a degree in nursing and working as a nurse, I
wanted to go to Troy university and get a major in American Sign
Q: Explain your reaction when you heard that DACA would be
A: After hearing the news that the DACA Act would be terminated, I felt
that all my hard work was worthless, all the late-night studying was
nothing, all the money and time in college would be a waste because,
without DACA, I would not be able to attend college anymore and
pursue my dreams.
Q: Did you take any kind of action after you heard the news? If so, what
A: Not really because I was in class when I found out the news but my
campus, UAB, had already organized a solidarity rally the following
day, and that’s when I knew it was time to fight harder so I decided to
share my story.
Q: What would you tell young girls who may relate to you?
A: My advice for other young girls who may be related to me is that this is
no time to panic instead we should make our voices stronger and let
them be heard. We should not feel like we are alone because about 800,000 other dreams are in the same situation as us and only together we can overcome this bump on our road to success.
Q: What do you think would be helpful for readers to get out of your interview?
A: I want readers to understand that we, DACA recipients, were brought
here as children and did not know any better. The only thing our parents
were looking for was a better future as well as a safer country. Many
people have a misconception about what DACA provides for us. DACA
gives us a two-year renewable work permit. With the work permit we
are allowed to get a driver license and go to college. With DACA we are
not allowed to receive any kind of help from the government such as
financial aid or scholarships.
Q: How can readers help?
A: If you want to help, call your congressman and let them know you
support DACA. You can also go out to rallies and let your voices be
hear that you want DACA to continue or a more permanent solution.
Thank you Caren Tinajer-Sanchez for sharing your experience!