A “dreamer” who refuses to give up on his objective of returning to college was the guest on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Carlos Reyes, an amateur photographer and former business administration major from Murfreesboro, first aired March 6 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation above.
Working with the nonprofit organization “United We Dream,” Reyes has taken several trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the continuance of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that protects children of undocumented immigrants who grew up in the United States from deportation. He also wants Congress to make that protection federal law by passing an unrestricted Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as the “Dream Act.”
Two federal judges have ruled that parts of the so-called DACA program, a creation of the Obama administration, can remain in place while litigation of the matter continues.
On Feb. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Trump administration’s request for an immediate decision on DACA. This move has the practical effect of temporarily protecting some 800,000 “dreamers,” as they are called.
Reyes said he had to drop out of MTSU for lack of money, even though he was working three jobs at one time to earn enough to pursue his education. He said, however, that he enjoyed his one semester of college, and he is working to earn enough money to return to MTSU in fall 2018.
The question is whether he will be forced to go back to his country of origin, Mexico, even though his family came to the United States when he was just a small child.
“I was raised in this country,” Reyes said. “I stood for the Pledge of Allegiance since kindergarten that I can remember, pre-K, I believe, and it’s been part of me ever since I was young.
“This is my home. This is all I know … I can’t see myself going back to my home country because it would be a complete change that will affect my life and my parents’ lives.”
Academic research published in January 2018 in the “Journal of Adolescent Health” indicates that Latino families raising adolescent children in the United States have a higher likelihood of suffering psychological stress than other families due to American immigration policies. Reyes said his parents are worried that he will be either deported or arrested for his activism.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.