When she was 15, she received legal status under Homeland Security’s deferred action for childhood arrival plan (DACA). Since 2012, more than 600,000 children have received legal status under the controversial statute.
Congress' inability to agree on legislation has consequences for tens of thousands of families, have poignant consequences for Monge. Her parents grew tired of waiting for reform and decided to leave the country. They were tired, she says, of living in constant fear of arrest and deportation.
“I’m going to be left alone again,” she says through tears. For the second time in her short life, she says, she feels abandoned, trapped on the wrong side of a border that’s divided her family.
Monge recently graduated from high school and plans to attend community college in the fall. But even once in the U.S. her journey has not been easy.
“Some days we didn’t have food in our house. We had nothing,” she says. She works two jobs back to back. “I’m always trying to save money. Everything I wear, everything I have was given to me.”
But despite the journey, the detention center and the life in the shadows, she doesn’t hesitate to say it was all worth it.
“I was in such a small town and now this country is like a world,” she says, dreaming of one day working at the United Nations. “It opens your eyes. It opens your mind.”
ABC News' Ben Siegel contributed to this report