Mississippi “Dreamer” Speaks Out

Daniela Vargas, 22, was released Friday from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. She had been detained after speaking out at a news conference in Jackson, Mississippi. (photo: Elijah Baylis / The Clarion-Ledger)

Daniela Vargas talks about her life before being detained by ICE agents, what life what like in detention and what her hopes are for the future.

By Sarah Fowler / The Clarion-Ledger
March 13, 2017

“We’re all here for the same reason, even Americans.America is the land of the free. Who wouldn’t want to be here?”
— Daniela Vargas

For 10 days, Daniela Vargas existed in a world closed off from the rest of society.

She didn’t eat, didn’t sleep. She cried for the first 48 hours.

She was alive but she wasn’t living. Her new reality was a far cry from the life she knew. The life she knew before immigration agents took her into custody.

But Vargas did what she has been doing since she was a 7-year-old immigrant who didn’t speak the same language as the other first-graders. She adapted.

Vargas came to the United States from Argentina in 2001.

She, her parents and older brother settled in to life in Morton. Sunday was “family day” and, after church, the family would go for long drives on back roads where her dad would show off his navigation skills. Then, they’d stop for lunch.

“Lunch options were always Mexican or Chinese,” Vargas said. “It wasn’t ever anything else. . . . Those were fun days for us. That’s what we liked.”

Vargas, who didn’t speak English, quickly assimilated into life in Mississippi, but the first year presented cultural challenges.

[Read the full article here . . . ]

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