A Grizzly Dreamer’s Past Puts His Future on the Slopes

Milan Mena Espinosa, Co-Editor-in-Chief

*Names have been changed due to privacy reasons.


Former Grizzly, Roy, is a DACA recipient and now faces the consequences of illegally crossing the border at age five due to the possible termination of the federal program, DACA. His future is now unsure because DACA enables him to live and work in the U.S legally and shields him from possible deportation. Since there is no current information on how the possible termination of DACA will affect its recipients, his legal situation is now unpredictable.


Roy is from the graduating class of 2015. He is now 23 years old, a father of two, and reminisces about memories from Copper Hills High. “Graduating from high school may not be a huge accomplishment to most, but for my ma’….it was a pretty big deal,” Roy says. He continues, “My ma’ cooked me a big feast, she invited our whole family and even her co-workers. I think it’s ‘cause she didn’t get the opportunity to go to high school, so seeing me do this…was a big deal.” 


All of his memories from Mexico are faint. “Yeah, I was born in Jalisco. I remember playing with the chickens and then seeing them [be] killed for dinner and that’s about it.” Roy chuckles, “I love my country, but it’s corrupt. My dad left my ma’…..She did her best to raise me and my cousins, but our little town was controlled by the cartel,” he says. 


His mother, Anna, allegedly served food to cartel members in exchange for protection from other gangs. Their small rural town was infiltrated with organized crime and Anna didn’t want her son or nephews to be surrounded with violence. Anna and her siblings raised money to move to the U.S for a better future. 


“My ma’ couldn’t file the right paperwork to legally cross the border. She could barely read….she didn’t learn how to [read] until she came to the U.S. All she knew was how to work.” Roy mentions and continues, “I remember, I was like 5, when we met Juan. Juan was our coyote, he guided us…. My ma’ doesn’t like to talk about how we got here.”


He then speaks up, “Point is that we took about two months to come here. It was straight hell…. One of my cousins, was only two and I had to put my fingers in his mouth to keep him from making noise, each time we thought there was an ICE officer or someone bad near.” Roy continues, “I’m forever grateful for my ma’..she sacrificed her literal life to have me and my family here in the U.S, she did it for our futures.” He preaches that becoming a father allowed him to better recognize his blessings and his mother’s sacrifices.. 


He prefers not to share his legal situation with others. “Having DACA is sometimes a pain. ‘Cause [of] the paperwork, and I’ve lived here basically my whole life, but I’m considered as somebody who isn’t ‘American’ and it’s annoying. On my driver’s license…it labels me as an immigrant. Anyone that sees it, automatically knows what I am not.” Roy continues, “If I were to be thrown back into Mexico, I wouldn’t know how to hustle like I do here. I’m not as fluent in Spanish as much as I used to be. I would hate to have my fiance alone, here, with my kids.”  


He expresses that being labeled shouldn’t be a problem to him, but it becomes a problem to others. He’s frustrated because he sees the U.S as his only home. Roy feels outcasted from both the U.S and Mexico because he illegally crossed the border, he broke a federal law.


Roy worries about his everyday life because he’s technically an undocumented citizen without his DACA elgibilty. “If DACA gets fully terminated, I don’t know what will become of me… Will my documentation be denied? I may become like my ma’ and work under a fake social security just to provide for my kids. I don’t want to, but I may have to…I don’t know. My ma’ lives her life being scared and I don’t want that,” Roy says. 


“I’m overall hopeful. That’s the only guaranteed thing I have… hope,” Roy says with a smile.