JFON Dallas-Fort Worth comes to the rescue of a Texas DREAMer
by Graham Bateman, Executive Director, JFON Dallas-Fort Worth
When your child goes to the beach for spring break, you worry. You make sure your phone is nearby in case you get that terrifying call that your child is sick or injured. But most of us don’t have to worry about our child being deported.
Juan is a sophomore in college, regularly making the honors list at the University of North Texas. He went to South Padre Island with three friends and had a great time until someone stole his wallet.
Juan didn’t call his parents. Because Juan has DACA, he called JFON Dallas-Fort Worth.
Juan’s parents brought him to the United States from Mexico when he was three years old. Although he has lived his entire life in the United States, Juan is an undocumented immigrant. He can live and study and work in the United States only because he has DACA.
Without DACA he could be deported at any time. And to come back to Dallas from South Padre Island, Juan and his friends would have to pass through a US Border Patrol interior checkpoint.
His friends, who are U.S. citizens, didn’t understand why Juan was so worried. But Juan was afraid. He didn’t know what would happen if he were stopped. He had no driver’s license, no DACA card, no identification of any sort. Would he be detained? For how long? Would he have to get a lawyer just to go home? Would he be deported to Mexico, a country he didn’t remember? Would he be able to take his chemistry test on Tuesday?
A JFON volunteer texted Juan pictures of his DACA acceptance letter and a copy of his Mexican passport.
Meanwhile, a JFON attorney took Juan’s file home with her over the weekend. Juan would contact her on Sunday before they started the trip and again after he was safely home. It was a tense day for everyone.
The only thing better than hearing Juan was safely home was when he called on Wednesday to say he had aced his chemistry test! Juan asked us to relay his thanks to all of JFON’s supporters.
Juan choosing to call JFON Dallas-Fort Worth when he was panicking over how to get home is an affirmation that he felt that deep sense of connection our ministry strives to create with all our immigrant neighbors.
Please keep Juan in your prayers. And ask your US Senators and Representatives to pass a clean law to protect young Dreamers like Juan.