by Zhané Parker
Imagine being a junior in high school but not being able to travel, get a license, or work. This was Marjorie Anacelia Fajardo’s reality until the establishment of DACA.
“It was a lifesaver, it completely opened new doors for me,” she said.
Marjorie was born in Olanchito, Honduras and raised in La Ceiba by her aunt and uncle. Her mom left for the U.S. without her when she was one. “I stayed in contact with my mom always but it wasn’t a close relationship,” she recalled recently.
At seven, her life changed forever after one call from her mom. She was told she was moving to the U.S. to live with her mom who was pregnant with her brother and was being brought to the U.S. by an uncle she had never met.
“I was excited to travel to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico but didn’t really understand the situation! It was a really sad day for me, I was leaving the people that raised me.”
Marjorie and her uncle began hopping from house to house, sleeping on floors, and waking up before the sun to reach their next destination. The person leading them often struggled to pay off cops and coordinate their route. When they reached the Mexican border, she was separated from her uncle and left with relatives. Her uncle was sent back to Honduras. Marjorie’s relatives took her and passed her off as their daughter to fool border control when they entered the U.S. by car.
“It was dark that night, probably around 1 a.m. They told me no matter what happened I had to pretend to be asleep,” she recalled.
A border patrol officer shined his flashlight in their faces and demanded to see their ID’s to prove citizenship. The officer saw Marjorie asleep in the backseat and demanded to see if her face matched the ID her family showed. Her family convinced the officer to let her remain asleep. Her life in the United States had just begun.
“If he saw my face I wouldn’t have made it through,” she said.
The relatives brought her to her mother in Texas, whom she had never met, a complete stranger. “I was indifferent, I don’t remember feeling happy or sad. I felt numb,” Majorie said.
She remembered that she hated leaving her home and language behind for the United States. In school, peers bullied her for sounding and looking different, for not being an American.
Undocumented, she always had to lie about why and how she left Honduras.
“I felt guilty keeping my secret from everyone, I couldn’t do a lot of things and I didn’t have a Social Security number. Whenever I saw a box for it I would look at it and think about what I could possibly write down. It scared me. Thankfully DACA was passed just in time for me to go to college. I could now get a job and fill in that box.”
On June 15th, 2012 the Obama administration established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This changed the lives of nearly 800,000 undocumented children living in the United States, giving them a sense of acceptance and freedom.
Recently, President Trump rescinded DACA and threatened life for so many including Marjorie. After she heard the news she began to laugh in disbelief and called her cousin who was also protected by DACA.
“I thought about how the government could easily send us back. We know no one in Honduras and would probably be killed if we went back. I don’t know what I’d do. I have no family there,” she worried.
Marjorie says she refuses to stop chasing her dream of working in film production. She is putting together a documentary about the effects DACA has had on children’s lives.
“I want to be the voice for all those afraid to discuss their status and I want to tell their stories. The support from people has been so heartwarming. There are so many standing with us.”
At twenty-one, her life and future are threatened but she remains optimistic and is touched by the overwhelming support.
“We will keep fighting, we are not going anywhere!”