It was like this cloud that followed her, casting a shadow on her whole life. Limiting her life’s dreams and aspirations.
When the DACA program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was created, Sheila and her brother both qualified.
“It was beyond excitement,” Sheila says. “Like a weight was lifted.”
With DACA, Sheila could work legally and she was protected. Although DACA was a blessing to Sheila and many others, it still did not provide a path to citizenship.
“Being a citizen of the United States, most people don’t realize what an advantage that is,” she says. “It gives you opportunities and advantages no other country can provide.”
Being an advocate for immigration reform is new to Sheila.
She wants people to understand what it’s really like for immigrants — who they are, why they come here, and how hard it is to actually become a citizen.
“It’s not simple, it’s a cumbersome process and it’s not cheap,” she says.
Still, she’s hopeful for her future. She calls herself an advocate for positivity.
York is her home.
America is her home — it has been for more than half her life.
She looks forward to the day her path is paved toward citizenship.