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PA dreamer speaks out about DACA

PENNSYLVANIA --- 22-year-old Merced Ramirez came to the United States from Mexico when he was just 4-years-old.

"When my family came here to the United States, it was for pursuing a better education so that we could have a better future," said Merced Ramirez, Dreamer.

At a young age he realized his opportunities were limited, after he tried to apply for a teen summer program and needed a social security number.

"So I go home and for the next 3-4 days I am asking my mom repeatedly, hey, where`s my social security number, I need it so that I can apply to this summer program, and she made excuses, until she finally said, son, look, you don`t have a social security number, remember you don`t have papers," added Ramirez.

He was devastated, but after learning about DACA in 2012, he applied and was approved one year later, his senior year of high school.

"It was a pivotal moment in my life. I remember rejoicing as I got my work permit and my drivers license and was going to be able to commute to school, and get a job, the timing was almost perfect," added Ramirez.

He says thanks to DACA, he was able to work his way through college and recently graduated from Messiah College with a degree in business administration.

"It was extremely helpful, and my parents, even though they didn`t qualify, for them, that made it worth it. They were like all those sacrifices they made over the years, for them it was worth it because it was a chance for us to have a better future," said Ramirez.

But with recent conversations about DACA, Ramirez says he and his family live in fear of possible deportation once his status expires next year.

"It was frustrating to hear that President Trump wanted to take these opportunities away from me," said Ramirez.

And there`s something he says he wants people to understand.

"I call this place home just as much as anybody who has been here for three, four generations," said Ramirez.