West Virginia immigrants speak on their experience in the Mountain State

MORGANTOWN, W. VA. (WDTV) -- According to the Census Bureau, more than 42 million immigrants live in the U.S. While there's only less than two percent in the Mountain State, a group of three women spoke about their immigrant experiences.

"This is where I settled, this is my life, this is where my family is," said Jackie Lozano, who came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was only 2-years-old.She doesn't remember much from the Central American country. All she knows is that the U.S. is home.

"This is home," she said. "Home is where the heart is."

She never questioned her status, until she was in high school.

"The time came when I was looking into FAFSA, I didn't have a social security on file," she said.

After the news, Lozano said her world turned upside down, but in 2012 that all changed, thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

"You thought your world, your future is over and then someone comes and presents you with something like DACA and you're like 'oh snap!' I can take driver's ed now and I can get a job now!,'" she told 5 News.

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV) hosted "The Immigrant Experience in West virginia" at WVU on Dec. 7, where Lozano, along with a first generation Mexican-American college student and a Syrian-born naturalized U.S. citizen spoke about their experiences.

The ACLU-WV hopes this can bring awareness to the community.

"We believe that if people just heard their stories and met their neighbors, there'll be more support for immigration support and reauthorization of DACA," said Joseph Cohen, the executive director of the ACLU-WV.

Back in September, President Trump ordered to end DACA, leaving nearly 800,000 recipients on edge.

Lozano, who has a son born in the U.S., does not want for the opportunity to end, so her, along with the ACLU-WV will meet with Senator Manchin, asking for a solution.

"We have an opportunity, we were given a chance, you know to do something," said Lozano.