Self-Deported DREAM Eligible Kids Regret Decision to Return Home

Adriana Gil Diaz regrets making the biggest mistake of her life by returning to her native Mexico. While many young undocumented immigrants are living in the U.S. without the fear of deportation, Gil is stuck in Mexico with a half completed education and no more money.

Many immigrants missed their chance

Gil was brought to the U.S. illegally as a baby and grew up going to school here. At the age of 20, she decided to go back to Mexico where a more affordable college education was available. Just two years, later her dreams were crushed when political hurdles prevented her from enrolling in school and she quickly ran out of money. The most devastating part of Gil’s situation is the missed opportunity of becoming a U.S. citizen. Thanks to President Obama’s order to stop deportations of young undocumented immigrants, many of Gil’s peers have been able to come out of the shadows and apply for DACA relief.

“It was really sad, depressing to feel I was so far away and that I had lost the opportunity to apply for that process,” Gil said. Just last year President Obama announced the government would defer deportations for hundreds of thousands of dreamers such as Gil. Since the program’s implementation since last August, the U.S. has processed and approved over 400,000 people trying to stay in the country.  As it turns out, Gil would not only have qualified under the plan, but might have been better off being forcefully deported back to Mexico.

What to do with self-deported immigrants

Immigrant advocates say Gil’s case is not uncommon and many Dreamers face similar circumstances. A new reform package backed by President Obama would make the biggest changes to immigration in three decades by allowing dreamers who were deported to legally return to the U.S. However, this would not apply to those who left the country on their own. As of now there are no numbers of how many young people returned to Mexico or how many dreamers were deported by the U.S. Despite the hardships, Gil says “taking a risk is worth more than being with an uncertain future.”

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