Immigrant Voices

José E. Carrasco Sandoval

Jose Carrasco Sandoval

I am a first generation undocumented college graduate. I attended Napa Valley College and then transferred to UC Berkeley where I graduated in 2010 with a major in molecular and cell biology. My hopes of continuing my education, exercising my degree, and contributing to my community all stalled because I was undocumented. It seemed like the sacrifices put towards a college degree were all in vain. I was a Dreamer with aspirations of becoming a community dentist and without a legal remedy for my immigration status. I faced a barrier that kept me from accomplishing my career goal. After graduating from UC Berkeley, I grew anxious with each passing year that failed to bring relief from deportation and I gradually lost hope for any opportunity that would make dental school a reality. My outlook on life changed on June 15th, 2012 when President Obama announced his plan to help Dreamers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The social security number and work authorization that DACA gave me the confidence to apply to the Interprofessional Post-Baccalaureate program at UCSF. I was selected as one of six pre-dental students across the nation to participate.

I am grateful for the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA). Having a trustworthy and compassionate legal provider throughout the application process gave me confidence. I am happy to report my DACA application was approved. My work permit was recently approved and I have two more optimistic years ahead of me. The work authorization DACA provides allows me to create my own path.

Although DACA is not a permanent solution to our broken immigration system, it has been a catalyst to many new advances in my life. Thank you IIBA for helping Dreamers navigate through the DACA application process and thank you for being a part of our continued efforts to rise above our undocumented status and reach for our dreams.

José E. Carrasco Sandoval

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