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Fronteras Extra: UTSA Dreamers Resource Center

UTSA Dreamers Resource Center
Courtney Balderas-Jacob, unidentified, Ana Michelle Treviño, Andrea Magaña hugging Lilliana Saldaña";s

The  Dreamers Resource Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio offers assistance to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and other undocumented students attending the university. 

Fronteras spoke to Courtney Balderas-Jacob, interim program manager for the Dreamer Resource Center, and Jaciel Castro, a student regent with the University of Texas System Board of Regents and graduate student at the UTSA College of Business.  Castro is a former dreamer who is applying for U.S. citizenship. 

Balderas-Jacob said most of the inquiries she's received from students are DACA-related, especially since a federal court recently placed a hold on President Trump's order to end DACA renewals..

BALDERAS-JACOB: Because of the (court) injunction, we do have several students who have come in and just said ‘ok, how can we go ahead and renew? We weren’t able to do it back in September’ because maybe they expired in July or some of the ones I’ve talked to, (expired in) early Fall. Now they’re able to go ahead and renew.  For the students (who) don’t have DACA: finding out what’s going to be happening for them after they graduate, creative solutions to internships and employment for them. It’s wonderful that they have support while they’re at UTSA to get this degree, but once they graduate, there are still those obstacles of employment if they don’t have the employment authorization document.

Jaciel, you have citizenship right around the corner, what’s in your plan for the future?

CASTRO: Definitely continue with school, finishing my masters at the end of the summer. I’m doing a masters in real estate investments and finance.  I work in the public school system. I’d love to continue building schools and creating opportunities for more students to receive a high quality education.  You have a vast number of children that are coming into our schools, and I don’t think the schools are ready for that kind of growth.  San Antonio is expecting a million plus population increase in the next few years. It’s all going to begin with the schools receiving the training and the (equipment) necessary to serve those families wherever they may be in the process.  


Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1