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Sedona Red Rock High School senior Lupita Montanez has lived in the United States for almost all of her life, and now she has been granted the legal status to pursue her dreams of going to college and making a difference. She recently received her Employment Authorization Card as part of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Lupita Montanez was granted temporary resident status on  April 25, and can now work and continue her education in the United States. Montanez has lived in Arizona since the age of 3.Born in Mexico and brought to the United States as a 3-year-old by her parents on July 4, 1997, Montanez had all but given up on getting a college education in her adopted homeland until President Barack Obama announced the new program, created when the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act — aka the DREAM Act — failed to pass in Congress.

“I wanted to leave for Mexico to study. I was going to leave this year in August, but they proposed the [DACA] last July. For the longest time I thought I would have to go to Mexico to go to college, but I don’t know Mexico and barely know how to speak and write Spanish properly, so I’d probably have to go back to the fifth grade in Mexico,” she said. “This has been my home.”

For the full story, see the Wednesday, May 15, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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