Lys Isma

Lys IsmaMy name is Lys Isma I am 23 years old and a Temporary Protective Status recipient. I have lived in the United States since I was nine months old and I have had TPS since I was 15. Growing up I did not understand what it meant to be undocumented because I had no memories of ever living someplace else, it was not until I was 13 that I found out the truth about my legal status. A group of friends and I decided that we were going to apply for a scholarship and I was told that the reason I did not get it was because I did not have a social security number. It was then that I realized that not being a citizen, not having a green card, and not having a small blue paper with nine digits on it was going to affect many aspects of my life.

In January 2010 Haitians became eligible for TPS and my life changed dramatically. I became legally able to drive and work. The two jobs that I currently work allow me to fund my education and it is all because of TPS. I am allowed to live a life with dignity and without fear. The decision to end TPS has devastated my community. People have already begun to lose their jobs and their ability to drive. Even though my community has been shaken by the Trump administrations’ actions and words, we have not been broken. We are here to stay and demand a permanent solution.