The COVID-19 pandemic upended Dreamer Kimberly’s plans.
“The last two weeks before my college shut down I did start eating out less, spending less, as if deep down I did knew what was coming,” she wrote in a guest column for The Star-Ledger.
A first-generation senior at Kean University, Kimberly wasn’t prepared when the night club she worked at in New Jersey announced they would be closed indefinitely.
“This is all hard to believe because this year started off great. I moved into my first apartment in January, before that I rented out a room in a house for years. I love my beautiful apartment, but right now it feels like a blessing with a burden,” she wrote.
While Kimberly’s job allowed her to pay her tuition and still afford living expenses, she is now living bill to bill. And as a Dreamer, she lacks the security net available to other Americans.
“People are filing for unemployment, I do not qualify for unemployment because I am on DACA, even though I pay taxes like everyone else. I don’t have it in me to explain that to people, so when they suggest collecting unemployment, I just agree,” she said.