Surrounded By Fear
In 2016 Nori was serving among the Spanish-speaking community in California and was surrounded by constant fear. A DACArecipient from Venezuela, Nori had been able to study and work legally in the U.S. for the past few years but was still hopeful for a permanent solution for Dreamers like herself.
Volunteering in a community where many were undocumented or had family members who were, she says everyone was scared by the current political climate. “It was hard to try to bring peace to others when I didn’t have that for myself,” she says.
Some of Nori’s own family back in Utah hadn’t been able to adjust their legal status and she was afraid of going home only to find they had been deported. She witnessed the turmoil around her of people just trying to get through the day. When she went out into the community to try to meet with people they were too scared to open the door because so many ICE raids were happening.
Nori asked herself, “Does God actually want me in the U.S? Do other Americans?” She had grown up in a predominantly white suburban town, having moved to Utah when she was only four. She says she didn’t talk about being from Venezuela with her friends. Their journey as migrants to the U.S. was the unspoken, unaddressed monster in the room. She didn’t feel she had anyone to talk to.
Encouraged By God’s Guidance
She says the encouragement she received came through reading Scripture. “God watches over us,” says. She read about people led out of their homelands to where they needed to be all throughout the Bible. She says that gave her comfort because ever since she was young she believed God had led her family to where they needed to be.
“We didn’t know if there was going to be legislation that would allow us to stay,” she says “but we had someone better on our side.” She spent a lot of time praying and pleading with God. Thankfully the DACA program that allows Nori to work and study in the U.S. is still in place but she says she knows what it feels like to hurt and be uncertain of the future. Her own experience and her time serving among others who share this uncertainty has shaped her into the person she is today.
Keeping an Eternal Perspective
She got married last year and is working through the long process to obtain temporary residency with her husband. “Even if the legal system doesn’t see it,” Nori said, “I know the worth I have in God’s eyes. God is my constant. He is very aware of my personal failings and my desire to do good for others.”
She is studying right now with the hopes to work toward policies and advocacy to change the legal system for others like herself. She has compassion for those who feel like they live in a constant stalemate. “There is so much we don’t know about this greater eternal perspective of life,” she says. “I’m so thankful God is my protector.”
Respond: Unmute Yourself, Support Dreamers
Polls show that the overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians—along with most Americans overall, including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents—want Congress to permanently resolve the situations of “Dreamers,” young immigrants brought as children to the U.S.
The only way for these young people to ultimately have stability is for Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution. The House recently passed such a bill, but it faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Senators are much more likely to vote for a solution for Dreamers if they are convinced that their constituents see it as a priority.
Ask your Senators today to stand up for Dreamers, passing legislation that would allow immigrants brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Catch up on the rest of Nori’s journey in: