Dream Act: Jose Quintero, Among First Deferred Action Recipients, Speaks Out

Dream Act: Jose Quintero, Among First Deferred Action Recipients, Speaks Out


This interview was first published on OurTiempo.com. The Obama administration’s deferred action directive has already granted over 4,000 young undocumented immigrants temporary permission to live and work in the U.S.

Jose Cruz of OurTiempo.com reports:

We met Jose Quintero recently at an event for Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s new political action committee (New American’s Fund) geared at raising money to support pro-immigrant political candidates. When we found out Jose was one, if not the first person to be approved for Obama’s new Differed Action Program to help DREAMERS come out of the shadows, we had to interview him.

OT: How did you come to the United States?

Jose: The only thing I remember about coming to the United States was watching an episode of The Simpsons before leaving my grandparents’ house in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico for the Arizona border. After arriving at the border my mom and I walked the desert for less than a day. I know that a lot of people last days in the desert but we did not. After crossing the border we stayed in a house in Arizona for about two days before boarding a plane to Chicago.

OT: Did you always know about your legal status?

Jose: I realized I was an undocumented person in the United States when I graduated high school and decided to take a year off school before going to college. I had just turned 18 and wanted to get a job. I filled out plenty of applications and only two called me back for an interview. One was a local grocery store and the other was a currency exchange. The interviews were going great until they asked for my social security number and I answered “I do not have one.” I could tell that from that moment the interview was over, and I was not going to receive any call back.

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