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Local "DREAMers" worry about future in U.S.

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Photo: Video by kmtv.com

Local "DREAMers" worry about future in U.S.

By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Aug 12, 2014
Omaha, NE - On Tuesday, a group of Omahans protested action taken by the House of Representatives before the August recess.
 
Part of the border crisis bill the House passed would stop President Obama's deferred action plan.
 
While the action never stands a chance of becoming law because democrats in the Senate will never go for it, the move has "DREAMers" wondering what will happen to them in the future.
 
"It's sad people just don't understand how difficult it is to live in this situation," said Dayana Lopez, who has been granted deferred action.
 
Lopez is what some would call a dreamer, but she has an uncertain future.
 
"Until somebody decides to provide that pathway to citizenship, it will continue to be difficult for me because after these two years expire, after the Obama administration ends, then what?" said Lopez. "What do I do then after?"
 
Lopez's parents brought her to the U.S when she was 4-years-old.
 
In May, she graduated from Central High School. She's one of more than 2,000 youth in Nebraska granted DACA or Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival, which is an executive order signed by President Obama in 2012.
 
Gerson Manriquez is another.
 
"DACA means hope and opportunity," said Manriquez.
 
Manriquez's grandmother brought him here when he was 11.
 
He holds degrees from UNO in biology and Spanish and hopes to go to medical school.
 
"Right now, I'm working at a clinic," said Manriquez. "I've met a lot of doctors, nurse practitioners, so I'm already in the field doing what I like doing and working with my community."
 
Both Lopez and Manriquez want their voices heard and stories told.
 
"I want to continue working at that clinic because I love what I do," said Manriquez. "I like working with people to improve their quality of living."
 
On Tuesday, they met with a handful of state senators to talk about DACA.
 
They said the U.S. has a broken immigration system and needs to be fixed so they aren't left behind.
 
"I hope my efforts will soon pay off in the end and other representatives, who may oppose DACA, will actually see we are not the enemy," said Lopez.
 
Nebraska is the only state that does not allow DREAMers to get driver's licenses.
 
State Senator Jeremy Nordquist plans to introduce a bill that would change that in the next session.