'Who will take care of my son?' young West Virginia mother says
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
Jackie Lozano said she did not know she was an immigrant until just a few years ago. She was brought to the United States by her mother when she was just 2 years old.
"I was applying for colleges and needed my Social Security number," Lozano said. "I asked my mother for it, and she had to tell me the story."
Lozano's mother brought her here to get better medical care and a better education. Now, Lozano is 21 years old and a mother herself, wondering what her next step will be.
"I have to think about 'Who will take care of my son,?' " she said. "Will he be OK? Will he remember me if I have to leave?"
Lozano is a "Dreamer," which means she is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. She applied for a work permit through the program when she was 16.
"I understand why my mother came here now. It makes me appreciate her even more. As a mother, I now understand all of the sacrifices she had to make," Lozano said.
She works full time in communications, but her fate is in the hands of lawmakers. If Congress does not renew the DACA program, she could get deported back to Mexico. She may have to leave her fiance and 1-year-old son, Carter, behind.
"When I think about the future and I think about my plan, I keep thinking 'Who will be able to take care of my son if I am not with him?' "
She said her son Carter keeps her strong despite the harsh reality that time is running out.
"This could destroy my family. I have to keep a positive attitude. I have to keep fighting for my son," she said.
Lozano said her work permit thorough DACA will run until 2019. She hopes to gain citizenship in the United States, but also wants to fight for the DACA program that has helped many people like her, who are in the process to become citizens. The decision on DACA could affect more than 100 people in West Virginia.
Eyewitness News reached out to U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va, and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to get their stance on the DACA program. Manchin has not yet gotten back with a statement. Capito's thoughts are below:
Senator Capito is focused on passing legislation this week that will continue the Children’s Health Insurance Program that benefits 22,000 West Virginia children for six years and avoid a government shutdown. She disagrees with many congressional Democrats who have said they will oppose legislation to continue CHIP and keep the government open until there is a resolution to the DACA debate. Senator Capito could support an immigration solution that provides for increased border security to protect Americans, improves our immigration laws, and provides relief for those in the DACA program. Bipartisan discussions on DACA should continue, but Democrats should not shut down the federal government over this issue.