Student Dreamer will be a guest at the State of the Union


Aseal Saed

Senior Nicolle Uria will be U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly’s guest to the President’s State of the Union on Jan. 31. She will be representing herself and the reported 800,000 DACA recepients.

Aseal Saed, Co-Editor in Chief

Senior Nicolle Uria’s world first came crashing down when her parents told her she was undocumented. Arriving to the U.S. from Bolivia when she was one years old, she is currently under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) with those in the program known as Dreamers.

Two years later, Uria will be representing one of 800,000 reported Dreamers at the President’s State of the Union as U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly’s guest on Jan. 31.

“I am super honored and surprised to be invited because I never thought I would ever be in this position to be attending the State of the Union,” Uria said. “I hope to represent the thousands of Dreamers that live afraid in this country. I want them to know that there are people who are hearing them out.”

Uria hopes that being at the State of the Union will allow Dreamers to feel hope in light of the recent possibility of DACA’s rescindment.

“Nicolle is a bright, talented student who until last September lived the American dream. She was looking forward to going to college and to run her own media company one day, until President Trump put that future in jeopardy with his callous decision to end DACA,” said Connolly in a statement on his website.

Uria’s world came crashing down for the second time when President Donald Trump announced the the rescindment of DACA in Sept. 2017. Her DACA status allows for Uria to get her learner’s permit to drive and working permit, but following Trump’s announcement, she will be unable to reapply for her status which will expire in Sept. 2018.

“When I first heard that Trump had ended DACA, I immediately broke down into tears,” Uria said. “I felt that my entire future was in jeopardy and that I was completely alone.”

Uria, like many other Dreamers, was not told by her parents that she was undocumented until she was in high school. After months of pestering her parents about getting her learner’s permit, they finally told Uria of her status when she was 15 years-old.

“One day, they pulled out a folder labeled DACA on it, and explained my status to me,” Uria said. “I was completely blindsided, but I now understood why my parents worked so hard.”

Afterwards, Uria immersed herself in her school work, by taking multiple IB classes, playing varsity volleyball, and taking on school leadership roles.

Through programs like the DREAM Project, which is a non-profit organization for students with various immigration statuses, Uria has felt better equipped with the tools and resources needed to attend college next fall.

Disclosing her DACA status only last year, Uria hopes that being outspoken about her status and attending the State of the Union, will allow Americans to see that Dreamers are just striving for a better future for themselves.

“I want Americans and all leaders to look at Dreamers as their children,” Uria said. “Would you hurt your own child? Stop them from succeeding and helping their communities? DACA is allowing me to get a better future, so why is that right being taken away from me?”