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DACA student dreams of citizenship

It has been over a month since President Trump threatened to suspend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for foreign students brought to the U.S. as children, and some of them are feeling on edge about it.

DACA student Sergio Baray dreams of earning his citizenship and launching a film career in the U.S. (Photo courtesy of Sergio Baray)

Given New Mexico State University’s close proximity to the border, it is no surprise there are many DACA students enrolled at NMSU. One of those students is NMSU computer science major Sergio Baray. Sergio is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. When Sergio was 15 years old he moved to Sante Fe, New Mexico, with his family where he attended Capital High School and became an all-conference basketball player.

While Sergio meets every possible requirement to qualify for the DACA program, he fears it will be taken away from him just as fast as he was able to qualify for it. Sergio graduated from high school with a 3.4 GPA, which enabled him to get into New Mexico State University. Sergio has now attended NMSU for four years and has built himself a new life in the United States. It wasn’t until his senior year of college that the DACA program now appears to be in jeopardy.

Sergio is currently a 3.7 student majoring in computer science at New Mexico State and has been involved with many different projects on campus including independent films and a company he created that does video production and editing. Despite Sergio’s many accomplishments, he now has to worry about DACA and his future rather than graduating in less than a year.

“I like to be a positive thinker, and try and focus on the happy things. I feel I have done a good job of doing that, and still am accomplishing many things that I am proud of, however, it is unfortunate timing. Although I feel that everything will be fine now, it did put a damper on the semester and made some things a bit more difficult for me, but I plan on doing everything it takes after college to become a U.S. citizen and stay here to continue my life,” Sergio said.

“He is a good kid. He has done everything he is supposed to do and quite frankly is already a citizen in my eyes.”

Sergio was able to harness the support of family and friends through a GoFundMe account on Facebook to raise $500 to help him stay in the United States until the last renewal possible before the potential suspension of the DACA program, keeping himself eligible to finish up his last year at New Mexico State. While he is happy that he was able to raise the money for the final renewal, he is still hoping to be able to stay when this final period is up.

“He is a good kid. He has done everything he is supposed to do and quite frankly is already a citizen in my eyes. As a United States citizen myself, I will do anything I can to help him gain citizenship. He has worked so hard to be here and done so many great things in the time he has been here, especially getting a college degree. I will do anything to help him stay,” said Jesus Diaz, Sergio’s cousin.

Sergio plans to graduate in May from NMSU with his degree in computer science, and then dreams of moving to Los Angeles to continue his work in video editing and growing his company.

“The idea is to move to L.A. right after graduation and begin our careers together, and Sergio is a vital part of that,” said Jonah Kennon, Sergio’s longtime friend and coworker. “He is a beloved guy and also super talented really at anything he puts his mind to. I, like many people, will be behind him every step of the way to help him stay here in the U.S. doing whatever it takes, like I know he will.”

Sergio plans to just focus on school for the time being. After graduation Sergio says he will begin the process of earning his citizenship, and will do everything it takes no matter how hard or long, while living out his dreams in Los Angeles doing what he loves.

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