WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congress has a few months left to come up with a legislative fix for thousands of students who are in the country undocumented.
They are called DREAMers, and they were brought to the U.S. as children as their parents sought a better life for them.
Luis Aguilar, now 29, immigrated from Mexico 19 years ago. He was only ten when his mother told him and his siblings they were moving to Phoenix, Arizona to meet with their father, who had been living in the states for about a year.
“I said what is the U.S.? I was 10 years old. I didn't know where it was. I remember getting a Spanish-English dictionary and reading it to try to learn something before I arrived,” Luis Aguilar said.
The family embarked in a journey to find a better life including more economic opportunities. Back in Mexico, his dad was a teacher and his mother was a stay at home mom. When he crossed the border, he tells us, he walked hundreds of miles to chase the American dream.
“You see bottles of water, that have no water in them, you see footsteps, you don`t know if the people who crossed made it, you don`t know if they`re still alive or not. We had to cross a very small fence back then, it was very intense, it nonstop walking,” Aguilar said.
Once in the states, Aguilar adjusted to the culture, and learned a new language.
“I grew up like most other kids who are my age. I grew up listening to Eminem, I love Whoppers even to this day that`s one of my favorite things even though I add jalapeno to it.”
After a few years the family moved from Phoenix to Northern Virginia, where this dreamer found a new life. He attended JEB Stuart High School and graduated with hopes of going to college.
Aguilar’s journey continued when he enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College as an international student. But says his tuition was so high he couldn't afford college after the first semester, and at the time Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or "DACA" wasn’t around.
It wasn't until 2012 when former President Barack Obama signed an executive action creating it. With time, he was able to become a DACA recipient and taught himself how to code, design websites, and graphic design.
“This is what people failed to understand that we are just other kids, we grew up here. The fact is that we are like every young person here the only difference is that we were born somewhere else,” Aguilar said. “I can say that the USA is my home, it`s the country that has taken me in. the only difference is, on a piece of paper. "