End of DACA could mean Bronx mom’s deportation

Posted: Updated:

A Dominican-born Bronx mother with few ties to her native country earned a Bronx Community College scholarship, founded a social program for troubled girls and never really learned Spanish, she says — and now she could be deported.

Without the protection of the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Donald Trump rescinded this week, about 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants may face deportation.

"It's heartbreaking to know that so many of us could lose everything in a blink of an eye and start from square one, when we were already at step 100," says Mary Soto, one of the so-called dreamers who benefited from DACA. "For someone to drop you so fast is devastating."

Soto's mother brought her to the United States from the Dominican Republic when she was just 6 months old.

"I never knew I was an immigrant until I was 16, and I couldn't get a job," Soto says. "I don't even speak Spanish well. At the end of the day, I consider myself American."

By age 18, she received the Dream U.S. scholarship from Bronx Community College. She went on to found the Sister to Sister program that helps incarcerated young girls get their lives straightened out.

Despite her positive contributions, she may now face deportation.

"I couldn't believe Trump didn't stand up for us," she says. "He has talked about us taking jobs away, and all I want to do is help people."

Soto, who has a 5-year-old son, says she plans to continue her fight.

"Trump doesn't even know who we are," Soto says. "He has never sat down with a group of dreamers. His parents were immigrants." 

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