VIDEO: UC Berkeley PhD candidate on DACA worried about being separated from 4 younger siblings

 

BERKELEY (KRON) — A Dreamer who is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley is worried he will be separated from his four younger siblings if DACA is not replaced.

He spoke to KRON4 about his struggle to stay optimistic.

You can imagine it’s incredibly difficult. DACA is actually the reason he enrolled in the PhD program at UC Berkeley.

And now that he’s in his fifth year, the very thing that helped him is going away.

In six months, Arturo Fernandez’s life could be dramatically different.

“I try to be realistic, and I try to be optimistic,” Fernandez said. “I hope that Congress can do something to fix this, to help not only the Dreamers but also their families, but at least at the very minimum to give these young individuals who have built their lives now with DACA.”

Fernandez and his parents crossed the border from Mexico when he was only 3 months old.

Now, more than 20 years later, he faces deportation.

And being separated from his four younger siblings who are American citizens.

“It’s scary to think about what could happen if I’m not in their lives for whatever reason,” Fernandez said.

The statistics doctoral candidate says he can’t imagine not being able to finish his studies.

“I’m working on really important research that I love that affects how I think this country,” Fernandez said. “Part of my project is on tropical cycle formation…that’s really relevant today. Another part of my research is on earthquake aftershock and probability models for that.”

Fernandez says he’s sad to see this country taking steps backward but remains hopeful that his family will be able to stay together in the country they call home.

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