By Alice Kenny
Seven years old when her family moved her from Mexico to Yonkers, Beatriz Rivera, now 31, does all she can to achieve the American dream.
At age 14, she began her career at the bottom rung as a bagger at a local grocery chain store. Quickly she was promoted to cashier, then supervisor, then customer service rep, then junior accounting clerk. Ultimately she worked as the manager’s executive assistant.
However, the work permit she received at age 17 expired years ago. So, while she has a valid social security number and driver’s license, she also counts herself among the “Dreamers” who live both openly and in the shadows of American society.
This impacts her life in small and large ways. For example, although she has been paying state, local and social security taxes for more than a decade, she would be ineligible to receive social security benefits.
Fortunately, Catholic Charities attorneys are helping her obtain a two-year, renewable work permit by filling out a Deferred Action Plan for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application.
Now, while working full time, she is also pursuing her associate’s degree to become a registered nurse.