Gama faces obstacles on the path to citizenship, is of the first students to be approved and receive national ID card
by Rossy Peralta, Asst. La Voz Editor
Cecilia Gama, senior, received a national ID card in February. Gama was one of many undocumented students who benefited from the DREAM Act
“(With the ID card) I can get a job and pay my (future) loans, even if I don’t get a lot of scholarships, I don’t have to live in debt,” Gama said.
Deferred Action is a project for undocumented students who have been raised and educated in the United States. The law gives students permission to work legally, legally obtain a driver’s license and go to college, among other things.
To be eligible for Deferred Action, students must have entered the United States before their 16th birthday, have lived in the United States for at least five consecutive years, have graduated from a U.S. high school or have been accepted to a college or university, and be between 12 and 35 years old and have good moral character.
Gama had the help of a lawyer, who guided her through the process. Gama said she consulted a lawyer because she was not sure what to do.
On August 15, Latino Club and Student Council members helped with registration for Deferred Action. Gama also helped out and was able to see the entire process.
Sandra Chico, social studies teacher, was one of the people who attended the Deferred Action workshop. On that day, she learned that Gama also planned to apply. After discussing her situation with Ms. Chico, Gama kept her updated on her progress.
Although Gama had the help of a lawyer, she felt concerned. When Gama had to be fingerprinted, only seven of her prints worked. Gama had to return to provide her fingerprints again.
Gama turned in her application in December. On January 14, she returned to the offices and in a month, earned her badge. Gama was one of the first to get the national ID card in the state of Illinois.
“I was excited (to be one of the first to get the card). I thought I was getting another letter to go back to the office again,” Gama said.
According to Chico, when students obtain the ID card, students can achieve things they could not before.
“With these opportunities being available, the only thing that would stop them is themselves now. There’s no obstacles. So it’s the matter of motivation and drive to succeed,” Ms. Chico said.