SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Supreme Court’s decision this morning affected people around the world involved in the DACA program.
Hundreds of DACA recipients are around Southwest Missouri, including Branson, Monett and here in Springfield,
Keyla Martinez is from Oaxaca, Mexico, and has been a DACA receipt for four years.
“I came over when I was 9 months old, so I really don’t know anything from Mexico,” said Martinez.
She used to live with her family in Cassville, where she became a DACA recipient when she was 17.
The now 21-year-old admits she learned about the program’s limitations when she attended Crowder College.
“I couldn’t get financial aid from the government at all,” said Martinez. “I had to get strictly scholarships that were foundation scholarships. I had to pay everything in cash.”
Martinez says this also prevented her from getting her dream job.
“I went to nursing school and during nursing school they told me I guess the state of Missouri doesn’t let DACA students get like a professional license,” said Martinez.
She moved to Rogers, Arkansas, where she was able to get her license and now works as a registered nurse at Mercy Northwest Arkansas.
Considering everything Martinez has been through, she says the supreme court’s decision is a small victory.
“There’s still many unknown things ahead in the future but for now we can actually kind of rest in peace and know that for another day we can still work at our job, we can still go to school,” said Martinez.
Yolanda Lorge, the president of Group Latinoamericano, says she was happy to hear the news.
“For those families because what it means to them,” said Lorge. “They can now continue with their college education. Also to be able to work legally and help maybe get a job. It’s good news for that community.”