Humans of Maryville: Seidy Molina-Ramos
Every two years, Seidy Molina-Ramos has to reapply for DACA to be protected from deportation from the United States. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). With it, Molina-Ramos is allowed to continue a higher education in the United States.
What is DACA?
“DACA is for kids who were brought into the United States without their consent. With this act, it allows for a protection against deportation. You do have to reapply every two years, but since it serves such a big purpose, you are required to keep going to school while under this act. There is a fine line in this country between people who are for immigrants and people who are against them. DACA was made to separate the good ones from the bad ones,” Molina-Ramos said.
What is the process like?
“My family and I were very nervous and determined to make it happen, so I hired a lawyer and brought proof of my residence since kindergarten and began filling out loads of paperwork. It almost took a year for me to get my results back, so it was very nerve-wracking. I was only 15-years-old at the time with no social security number; I had no license or healthcare and I was unable to apply for colleges. Once I got approved, I received a social security number, but it said that I wasn’t allowed to re-enter the United States. DACA allows you to work and attend school, but you cannot leave. It does not provide full benefits, but it allows you to continue your education,” Molina-Ramos said.
How has this program helped you and your family?
“With DACA, I was able to drive, get a job and apply for college. A lot of people don’t know how it works and are uneducated about the subject. Nowadays, people group immigrants as the Mexican nannies taking care of your kids or doing your yard work. Most of them don’t have social security numbers, so those are the types of jobs they can have where they get paid with cash and not a real check stub. DACA helped me avoid this kind of lifestyle. I can get now obtain a real job and receive loans since my parents were never able to,” Molina-Ramos said.
What’re your plans after college?
“DACA is only for students and I have not done a lot of research yet on what happens after you graduate. I don’t know if they job will help you keep DACA, but basically once your done with school, it’s over. I know some people who have gotten great jobs and the companies helped them file for citizenship. Right now, the only thing available for me is DACA, so everything after college is a gray area for me,” Molina-Ramos said.
“Going back to Mexico is not an option. I have been here for so long that going back to Mexico is like going back to a foreign country,” Molina-Ramos said.
Why did you choose Maryville?
“FAFSA does not support DACA students or immigrants. I could not get grants or scholarships outside of the University itself. I applied to around 30 schools anywhere in the country, seeing who would give me the most money, because that is the only way I would be able to attend college. Maryville gave me the full tuition, making me a Trustee Scholar,” Molina-Ramos said.
What is your Major?
“My junior and senior year of high school I went to cosmetology school part-time. I like to do hair and makeup; it is my passion. Unfortunately, I could not continue it without a social security card, so I had to keep going to school to be protected by DACA. It’s really sad having to put yourself through 4 years of something that you don’t really want to do, when you know where your passion really is. I want to do hair. I want to own a salon, so the closest thing to that is Business Administration,” Molina-Ramos said.
What makes Seidy, Seidy?
“I am originally from Decatur, Illinois. I have lived there my whole life, expect one year, where I lived in Pennsylvania. I am the oldest sibling; I have a 7-year-old sister and 14-year-old brother. Something that really defines me is my passion for doing hair. I am now a licensed cosmetologist in Illinois. Most people see it as a hobby, but to me it is much more than that. To me, it is so much more than standing behind a chair cutting someone’s hair. When I go home, I have people waiting for me to do their hair. I do everything from waxing, haircuts, hair color, updos, girls hair, guys hair, anything you can imagine,” Molina-Ramos said.
What do you want readers to take away from this article?
“I am a DACA student, and I am so proud of it. Please share this anyone and everyone to get people more educated on this topic. I have no rights in this country and every two years I have to pay and ask for permission to stay. This is a serious matter. Not just for me, but for all DACA students. I don’t want people to pity me for my situation, but to think of this as motivation to become educated on the DACA act and to keep motivating all DACA DREAMERS.”