UTSA 'Dreamer' anxiously awaits State of the Union address

Andrea Ramos Fernandez created DACA center for UTSA students

By Josh Skurnik - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A UTSA student can't wait to see President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, and she is especially interested in what he will say about undocumented immigrants whose only home has been in the U.S.

After "going to Washington and seeing the chaos" for herself, UTSA senior public policy major Andrea Ramos Fernandez said she's lost some faith in the political process.

But that didn't stop her from leading the creation of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, center on campus a couple of months ago to serve some 3,000 undocumented students in the UTSA system.

"I really don't care about myself anymore in this situation," Fernandez said. "I'm just really scared for them."

Fernandez, 21, who came to the U.S. from Mexico City at the age of 8, said what Trump says in his speech matters for young people like her.

Trump has said in the past that he's open to a path to citizenship for "Dreamers," a name given to DACA recipients based on never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act that would have provided similar protections for young immigrants. But this latest government shutdown centered on DACA and ended with a promise to Democrats of immigration legislation in February.

"What I am hoping to hear from President Trump is that he is willing to work with both sides of the issue, and be willing to, just as Democrats are willing to concede, that Republicans are willing to concede in some areas as well," Fernandez said.

Trump's speech, scheduled for 8 p.m. CT, will "attempt to reset the tone, appeal to bipartisanship and tout economic successes," a White House spokesperson said.

Fernandez said those words make her hopeful.

She plans to be in Washington next week to lobby for the fate of others like her.

"We all knew that something that was completely clean as a bill was going to be basically really hard to pass," Fernandez said.

KSAT 12 and KSAT.com will be providing live coverage of the State of the Union address, followed by the Democratic response.

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