The Senate vote to temporarily fund the government without a DACA fix leaves 800,000 DACA recipients in a legal no-mans land. For a young woman in San Francisco who is living that uncertainty, both personally and professionally, the disappointment goes well beyond today’s vote.
Mayra Jaimes, 29, is a program coordinator for the Dream SF program, providing leadership training to young immigrants. Her parents brought her from Mexico to East Los Angeles when she was 3 years old.
"One of my earliest memories of the United States was my mom being assaulted at gunpoint," Jaimes said.
Jaimes' family had a small store back then, and now they have two. Her parents used their earnings to send Jaimes and her three sisters to college. She and her family were living the American dream, knowing any day it could end.
Bill Passage With No DACA Deal Leaves Recipients in Limbo
"I think that’s become the normal; uncertainty is my every day," she said.
Protesters projected their anger on the federal building in San Francisco on Monday night. They said lawmakers who voted to end the government shutdown without a DACA deal broke a promise.
California's two U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, voted against reopening the federal government, without assurances on DACA. With a funding deal in place for nearly three weeks, Republicans on Capitol Hill have pledged to address the issue.
"I was proud of the Democrats for shutting down the government, but they caved," one DACA supporter said in San Francisco. "Now I don't know what's gonna happen. On February 8 will we be here again?"
For Jaimes, like hundreds of thousands of others, the past four months since President Donald Trump announced the end of the Obama administration's DACA protections has been a roller coaster.
"It’s really troubling, and for myself, I’ve been up and down through my own anxiety and my own battles of depression accessing health care,' Jaimes said.
But she said it’s not much different from when she and her sisters would plan their escape if ICE agents came knocking. And her disappointment isn’t limited to one party.
"We have been let down by both the Democratic and Republican parties," she said. "Having the Dream Act fail 11 years ago, not seeing something passed during Obama’s presidency.
Jaimes wishes Americans would take a new look at immigration and immigrants.
"I’m not very optimistic, but I hope there is a solution," she said.
Jaimes added she’d like to be able to plan out her future, to chart her career path and feel confident in setting her goals. For now, she can’t.