Read the Spanish-language version of this story here.
Ashley Lopez dreams of one day turning professional.
Many days, the 15-year-old amateur boxer faces more than an opponent in the opposite corner. Her family has been dealing with a nightmare of possibly being torn apart with the crackdown on illegal immigration.
Ashley’s mother, Myriam Reyes, is one of the thousands of undocumented immigrants known as ‘Dreamers,’ or children who were raised, but not born, in the U.S.
In September, President Donald Trump said he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but gave Congress six months to develop a fix. Those whose permits expired by March 5 had one month to apply for renewal. An injunction was made in January and requires the administration to issue temporary renewals, but doesn’t include first-time applicants.
"My mother arrived when she was barely 4 years old. Her parents brought her; it's been so long, and now she has a permit to stay until May,” said Lopez. “We have the days counted here … "
Despite the challenges of remaining undocumented, Myriam Reyes managed to go to college, becoming a 'Dreamer.' If she is forced to return to Mexico, her daughter Ashley’s boxing career could be in jeopardy, she said.
"Having to go to Mexico [would be] frustrating, I would not know how my life would be there. Ashley can go with me and pursue her career, but I do not know if she will adapt," said Myriam, whose undocumented husband was deported.
By government statistics, nearly 683,000 people were enrolled in DACA at the end of January, eight out of 10 from Mexico.