Deyse Carvalho arrived in Boston at age six with her parents, a few English phrases, and the perception that in the U.S., the streets were paved with gold.
“I got here and I really believed that,” she said with a laugh. “That was my perspective as a 6-year-old.”
Carvalho, now 25 and a resident of Cambridge, is one of approximately 800,000 DACA recipients — people who are registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program put in place by President Obama in 2012. The program allowed immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to get temporary authorization to stay in the United States.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration will reverse the DACA policy with a six-month delay. Whether Congress will act to allow DACA recipients to stay in the country is unclear.
In 2010, Carvalho graduated from Boston Latin School – one of the city’s most competitive public schools, for which students must take an exam and apply to in order to attend. She holds an associate’s degree in education, and she is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree at UMass Boston. She juggles her studies with two jobs. She works at a restaurant downtown and tutors middle school kids.
As Carvalho put it, until she became "DACAmented," she always lived in fear.
“Nothing felt real,” she said. “It always felt like at any moment, I could be sent to Brazil and my life is over here."