The Deferred Action Waiver Fund (otherwise known as “DACAF”) is a fund set up to award undocumented activists with a scholarship to cover the fee associated with applying for Deferred Action. We recognize that many of the activists we work with on a daily basis do not have the financial means to apply for Deferred Action and so this fund will try to meet the needs of these activists. To apply send in a completed application found here.
Kemberly – New York
When I was three years old, my sister Geraldyne was two and my brother Bryan four we moved to United States with parents’ from Colombia. We came here with a visa, but unfortunately we stayed here longer than expected. Our visa got expired and became labeled as aliens to the government.
Growing up as an undocumented child was very difficult. My family and I went through many hardships. Such as learning two languages Spanish & English at the same time, having to repeat kindergarten because teachers assumed I was mentally retarded, being put into E.S.L for 5 years, moving a lot, and my parents going through a variety of low class jobs causing us to go through many humiliating circumstances and finical needs.
Throughout my childhood I prayed to God and I asked him why me, why did my family have to go through all this? I didn’t understand why? Until I was in fourth grade and there was a rally in front of the court house for immigrants. I missed school that day. I remember arriving at the court house and seeing many Hispanics from all over even peers from school. I felt I could finally fit in that I wasn’t the only undocumented student. From that moment an idea occurred to me. That there are many people going through or similar to my situation and we all had come to the court house because our voices weren’t being heard, that we are humans just like the people in the court house and the senate, we have a families back at home that need to be fed, that we dream for our children to attend college and have a career, that we are being treated and labeled as aliens.
From that moment I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to be the voice of my people. I want to change the mind of others, I want people to realize that immigrants aren’t as people label us to be, I want people to understand that America was the land for the free, that the statue of liberty was to symbolize the welcoming of those immigrants over fear.
Ever since I was in fourth grade I have been activating for equal rights. I am now part of a Youth Arts group, which is a culturally diverse group of high-school aged students who come together to discuss systematical issues in our community and what we can do to make a change by using art. With the help of the Youth Arts Group in the summer of 2012 I organized a Community Mural in my town Monticello, New York. On August 1st and 2nd the Youth Arts group and many community members helped create a mural based on the themes of farm workers, the Dream Act and fracking. That day was honestly the best day of my life because I saw the community working as one to be voice of those who don’t.