DREAMer entrepreneur faces uncertain future in US
A Columbus engineer working under DACA will face an uncertain future in the US after the Trump Administration decided to rescind the Obama era immigration order.
Nathali Bertran came to the US from Peru with her parents when she was 9 years old.
"I was just coming here to seek that better life that my parents are talking about," Bertran said.
She quickly learned English, went to public schools in New York City and eventually earned a degree in mechanical engineering despite being undocumented.
"I was determined to get my degree," she said. "I didn't know what I could do after."
Bertran said DACA gave her a chance to stay in the US legally.
"That door was opened," she said. "It was really life-changing. I saw myself building a future here, building a career here, contributing to the country I call home."
She landed a job in Central Ohio designing cars. She was living the American dream her parents hoped for her. Earlier this year she launched a non-profit start-up venture called "DACA Time". It helps other DREAMers file their DACA paperwork online. It streamlined a lengthy process that can cost thousands of dollars.
"Now that DACA is over, that dream has stopped for now," Bertran said.
Bertran said she is worried she will be forced to return to Peru.
"I just wouldn't know anyone," she said. "There's no one there that I could relate to because the last time I was there was when I was 9."
Her future is in the hands of Congress and the White House.
"I know this is a political move," she said. "They're trying to use us as a bargaining chip but these are people's real lives. There's 800,000 of us."
Bertran has a work permit to stay in the US until July 2019. She said she hopes Washington will be able to come up with a permanent solution before then. The Trump Administration has given Congress six months to act before DACA ends.