Lakeland DACA recipient pushes for permanent resolution

By Stephanie Claytor, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018, 9:01 PM EST

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA for short, was one of the main sticking points as to why Senate Democrats didn’t pass the spending bill, causing the government to shut down.

  • DACA recipient pushes for permanent resolution
  • Sayra Lozano came to the U.S. when she was 5
  • She applied for DACA after she graduated from high school

DACA recipient Sayra Lozano, of Lakeland, had mixed feelings about it.

“I’m happy that they did it yes, but nobody wants to shut down the government,” Lozano said. “I’m hopeful we can come to a resolution by Monday. So that people can get back to work and things can go forth normally. And that we can have a resolution for both ends.”

Lozano, a Mexican national, came to the United States legally when she was five on a tourist visa. It expired and she never went back, putting the rest of her life in limbo.

“It’s hard to even consider what my life would be like if I had to move somewhere that I’ve never really known,” said Lozano.

It’s hard to think what it would be like to leave my job, my friends, family, and the community that I’ve built here because of a law. Because of something that could be easily change but politics, pride are stopping it from becoming a reality.”

Lozano applied for DACA after she graduated from high school six years ago.

Erasing the fear of deportation temporarily, it made going to college and getting her MBA easier. She’s now working at her alma mater, Southeastern University.

DACA gives her and the near 700,000 others who currently have it a work permit and access to a driver’s license.

“DACA was a complete game changer,” Lozano said.  “It was a door of opportunity. It allowed me to not only get an education, but also to be able to work , to have internships. I interned on Congress a few summers ago, Lozano said.

When President Donald Trump announced in September he was phasing out DACA, she really started sharing her story.

“That was the really the call to action to become active, to engage with conversation with local and elected officials and other community members,” Lozano said.

The trilingual recent college grad has met with more than a dozen lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“I was actually very quiet and hidden about my status for a very long time but I think that it came to a point where I had to speak up and I had to fight not only for myself but also the thousands of DACA recipients across the country,” Lozano said.

Despite everything that’s happening in Congress, Lozano said she’s still hopeful for a permanent resolution.

“A resolution would be a path to citizenship. A permanent solution. Something that is no longer temporary or is no longer at the hands of anyone that could take it away at any point,” Lozano said.

According to CNN, Republicans have said no talks on DACA, until Democrats give them enough votes to reopen the government. Democrats, meanwhile, say they have to have an answer on extending protection to nearly 700,000 people brought to the US illegally as children who face deportation after early March.

Republicans and some Democrats opposed former President Obama's executive order that put DACA in place right from the start because they said it was an overreach of executive power.​