In the News

A San Diego State University graduate and DACA recipient will attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address, hoping to represent "Dreamers" seeking to continue to legally live and work in the United States.

U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, of California’s 52nd Congressional District, invited San Diego resident Karen Bahena as his guest to Tuesday’s address in Washington, D.C. 

In 2001, at the age of 8, Bahena migrated from Mexico to San Diego. Over the past 17 years, she has built a life for herself in the U.S., graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in public health and nutrition. Today, Bahena works as a research coordinator for the University of California San Diego.

Bahena is a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals but her work permit expires at the end of September. Like many Dreamers, the topic of congressional action on immigration is of utmost interest to her. 

Late last week, Bahena told Telemundo 20 she hopes to represent the thousands of DACA recipients fighting for legal status. She said if she could speak to the president, she would ask him to focus on all of the nation’s immigrants, not only Dreamers.

“I would ask him to take into consideration our parents – we didn’t arrive here alone,” Bahena said.

Bahena hopes to continue working legally in the U.S., as she has big dreams for her future and helping others.

“I’m waiting to see what happens with DACA and the Dream Act. I’d like to work in public health, especially in communities that are most in need,” she told Telemundo 20.

The State of the Union 2018 airs at 6 p.m. PT on NBC 7.