Ge­or­gia LGBT Dreamer re­acts to Trump’s DACA de­ci­sion

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“If you get mar­ried be­fore the age of 18, to a United States cit­i­zen, the process goes by fairly quickly as you have not at­tained any ‘il­le­gal pres­ence,’” she said. “Of course, I wasn’t gonna get mar­ried be­fore the age of 18 years old. It wasn’t gonna hap­pen.”

It es­pe­cially wasn’t go­ing to hap­pen be- cause when Mileidi turned 18, she had a girl­friend, but mar­riage equal­ity wasn’t the law of the land yet. Even af­ter it was, though, there was still bad news.

“I could get mar­ried to my girl­friend, but I would have to go back to Mex­ico with a time penalty for a pe­riod of any­where be­tween weeks to 13 years. There’s no in-be­tween. They just hit you with a ran­dom num­ber,” she said. “That was some­thing I wasn’t will­ing to risk. I didn’t want to be gone for 13 years be­cause, hon­estly, at that point I might as well just stay in Mex­ico. I think that’s the point.”

Un­der DACA, there is a way for re­cip­i­ents to leave the coun­try for an ap­proved pur­pose and re­turn legally, which makes the path to res­i­dency and cit­i­zen­ship eas­ier. At first, Mileidi chose not to pur­sue this, but things changed in Novem­ber 2016.

“When I found out that Trump had won, I freaked out. He promised to end DACA right when he got into of­fice,” she said.

She im­me­di­ately filed for DACA re­newal and the ad­vanced pa­role pro­gram, and found out she was ac­cepted into the pro­gram in April.

“I told my­self I was go­ing to as quickly as pos­si­ble travel be­cause ev­ery­thing is so un­cer­tain when you’re un­der this pres­i­dency,” Mileidi said. “I bought my ticket to Mex­ico April 25, on my 25th birth­day. I think I was in Mex­ico May 30, came back on June 6.”

It was then, seven years af­ter they be­gan dat­ing, that Mileidi and her girl­friend were fi­nally able to tie the knot.

A de­tour on the cit­i­zen­ship path

Now that she’s mar­ried to a US cit­i­zen, Mileidi should be able to pur­sue cit­i­zen­ship, but be­ing LGBT adds an­other layer of com­pli­ca­tion.

“[My wife] didn’t come out to her par­ents un­til re­ally like two years ago. She re­ally strug­gled a lot with her iden­tity and how her par­ents would re­act,” Mileidi said. “For five years of our re­la­tion­ship, her par­ents had no idea we were to­gether. … For me, that means dif­fi­cult im­mi­gra­tion pro­cess­ing.”

Other cou­ples have fam­ily vouch for them, wed­ding pic­tures, proof that they share a res­i­dence, even be­ing on each oth-

“I was sur­viv­ing be­fore DACA, but I didn’t re­ally feel like I re­ally ex­isted un­til af­ter. I don’t think you can ex­plain that. You re­ally do be­come kind of more of a per­son and it sucks that some­one can take your hu­man­ity by tak­ing your doc­u­men­ta­tion sta­tus.”

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