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“I’m Just Like You”: An Amarillo DACA Recipient Waits In Limbo

Julio Salazar

Sitting outside a coffee shop on the town square in Canyon, Texas, I spent yesterday afternoon talking with someone who has a lot to say about the controversy over the DACA program. Julio Salazar was brought to Amarillo before he started pre-kindergarten, and he has attended Amarillo schools his whole life.

Yet, he never felt like he could make a mistake like the kids around him who had citizenship.

“I couldn’t mess up,” he said. “I couldn’t get in trouble. I couldn’t be human.”

Five years ago, when Julio received his DACA papers, he felt like a weight had been lifted. He immediately bought a car, drove to New Mexico, then just sat on top of the car and looked at the stars. Before DACA, he’d been afraid to travel to another state.

Julio was eager to point out that many DACA recipients are deeply involved in their communities.

“I’m just like you,” he said.

Julio Salazar is set to lose his DACA protections and be deported next year.