Dreamer Israel Flores, 24. Born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
October 11, 2019
When Israel Flores graduated high school, college was not an immediate option.
Flores did not qualify for financial support from the state. When DACA was put into effect, Flores was able to have his community college fees waived.
Raised in Sacramento, Flores is currently a Sac State communications major with a minor in history. He is also ASI vice president of academic affairs and a student assistant at the Serna Center.
He said he hopes to graduate this upcoming spring semester.
Flores’s mother was his and his younger sister’s only provider until he was able to get DACA. His sister, also a DACA recipient, was still in high school when Obama was in office and the policy was passed.
“(Obama) came out of the darkness to help all these people, and now it’s being taken away,” Flores said. “I have the knowledge, but I can’t use it to my advantage.”
After Flores obtained his associate’s degree, instead of furthering his education, he worked to support his family.
“I didn’t want to burden my mom,” Flores said. “I had to drop out of school for a while to help pay for my sister’s schooling.”
Flores said once he was able to return to school, the transfer process to get to a four-year university was still complicated.
“When I was transferring, they wouldn’t give us the papers we needed because it’s different when you’re (not) a citizen,” Flores said.
Once he finally got to Sac State, Flores said he was motivated to become more involved on campus. Flores joined student government in hopes of helping students of all backgrounds.
“Whether that’s professionally or to get them involved, if we could help in any way we can, we are here,” Flores said of ASI.
Flores said he sought help from his colleagues and that one advised him to check out the DRC on campus.
“Once I found their office, it was way smoother. It was an easier transition,” Flores said.
Flores said if there was more awareness about DACA and the undocumented, then students would not have to fall behind in their career paths. Flores said that stereotypes influence discrimination against Latinx people.
“We’re stereotyped. We’re being charged as a whole, not as an individual,” Flores said. “You have to know where you came from to know how things have been shaped. There have been different ways of seeing things. Racism doesn’t make it any easier”.
Even after completing his bachelor’s, Flores’s work permit could be taken away by the Trump administration.
“When you’re done with college, what are you going to do if you can’t work?” Flores said. “It’s frightening.”
Flores said he remains hopeful and is considering graduate school.