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After missing DACA, she resented her US-born siblings. Trump ruined her second chance

Cindy Carcamo and Molly O'Toole, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

She stopped talking to them.

"I just felt a lot of anger during that time," Basurto said.

They were too young to understand how the sheer luck of being born in the U.S. gave them more leverage and opportunities than Basurto.

Other immigrant youth, like Rotzely, directed their anger toward their parents.

Rotzely, who gave only her first name because she is in the country without legal status, was three months shy of turning 15 when she got the last document to complete her DACA application in 2017.

"I got it," Rotzely called and told her mother. "I finally got the letter that we've been waiting for."


Her mother hesitated. Then she told her: "It's too late."

Her father's side of the family had tried to persuade her mother to leave Mexico for the U.S. before she gave birth to Rotzely. But she was nine months' pregnant and feared complications along the journey.

The lost opportunity weighed heavily on Rotzely, who is now 17. "She decided to wait until after I was born. I resented her."

Rotzely was 3 months old when she and her mother made the trek north.


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