DACA Gives Medford Teen Opportunity To Dream

, Written by Roma Villavicencio, Posted: Wed, August 28 2013 at 11:14 PM, Updated: Wed, August 28 2013 at 11:35 PM

Seven years after nine attempts to cross the border from Mexico and 18- year- old Luis Ayala of Medford is dreaming big, he's going to college with a 4.0 GPA.

"Right as we were about to give up we made it," says Ayala.

Thanks to a policy passed in 2012 by President Obama, Ayala can stay in the united states without fear of deportation.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" or DACA is an attempt to answer a growing issue, immigrants who enter the country as children.

"I came here to succeed and work hard I don't believe I came here to be a bother to the country."

Ayala is one of 900-thousand so-called "dreamers" in the United States. 

After the proposed development relief and education for minors act. they don't have legal standing-- but came with their parents when they were young, shaped by U.S. culture. 

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

DACA took affect a year ago in Oregon. Students must have arrived in the U.S. before turning 16 and have to be under 30, they have to be in school,and can't be convicted of certain crimes. 

 Ayala thanks his teachers and Martin Luther King's dream put in words 50 years ago Wednesday-- for being able to live his.

"I'm just so thankful to be able to live my dream."

Data from Homeland Security shows the majority of Oregon applicants have been accepted to the program-- and most are Mexican. 

Critics question DACA's legitimacy and whether the administration has the right to supercede existing immigration law.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Roma Villavicencio

NBC5 News reporter Roma Villavicencio comes from Southern California where she reported for Garden Grove TV Channel 3.

She is a graduate of the journalism/communications program at Cal State Fullerton.

Roma is very proud of her Mexican heritage. She is bi-lingual and looks forward to serving our Hispanic community.

She loves food, music and the San Francisco Giants. She lives by the slogan “viva la vida!”

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