Let me start with a Hello
I’m very excited and a little hesitant about this blog post.
My name is Guadalupe and I am the Co-Coordinator of the Advocacy Committee.
I was going to write about me turning 21 today! But what’s the point? I’m tired of thinking how different things would be if the Federal Dream Act was passed back in 2010, how my status would have been “fixed”.
I’m leaving behind the “what could have happened” mentality and starting to focus on what’s next. The question to me is: what now? The struggle is much greater than myself. After waiting 7 months, I was approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and 5 months later I was hired at an amazing after school program as a Group Leader. I work with elementary school children where most of them come from immigrant parents.
This is where I’ve been lately; working with kids ages 4 to 10. The children trigger memories of my childhood. I found out about my status when I was in the 5th grade after losing a scholarship because of not having a social security number. This started my mistrust in the education system. After that, everything around me reminded me of being undocumented, which overshadowed the few opportunities in front of me.
Thinking back, I feel how fortunate I am to have my family with me. My amazing parents that I can hug and argue with, and I don’t have a chance to miss them because they’re here. My dad works late nights and ever since I was 5, I prayed for his safety. When I was 15, I wasn’t able to fall asleep until he returned home. I was afraid, and still am, of my parents being deported.
I’m lucky to have them under the same roof. However, a group of sisters ages 10, 8, 4 and a baby girl in a stroller are not so fortunate. The 10 year old is trying to cope with the overwhelming stress that is affecting her grades and heath. She dances on stage and looks at the crowd, but is reminded of her dad. She is still trying to understand why they took papi away. Her mom comes everyday to bring them lunch and when she’s alone I see it; the uncertainty in her eyes. She is trying to keep everything together and fighting the case to bring her husband back to her kids.
They spent this Thanksgiving without their dad. I spent it knowing that and knowing that it has been 2 years since my grandma passed away. I was even more upset when I realized why I hated saying goodbye, because a hello was never certain over the phone. I get paranoid when the phone rings because I don’t want to hear someone is ready to go to heaven. I see the pain my mom and dad carries deep in their heart. I feel the guilt they feel for leaving abuelita y abuelito. I carry that with me. These kids remind me of me and my family. They know at 7 years of age that we run from “la migra” (ICE), because they have seen it on the news or experienced it. They watch the news and see what we see; they don’t see things getting better with Immigration Reform and deportations, they see our rallies, they hear our stories and how we don’t give up. They see hope.
The New York Dream Act is about advancing education. My family came to the USA so I could have an education. I graduated from high school in 2011 and it’s been 3 years since my education has been put on hold for reasons beyond my control. I will go to college and not make my parents, my community and my sacrifices go in vain. I will also continue to stay involved as much as I can to improve our lives.
Join us in helping undocumented youth achieve higher education. Get involved with our NYDA campaign (email me: firstname.lastname@example.org). If undocumented students become eligible for TAP many students can go on and continue to strive for a better future. I would be one of those students. Lets start with this together to pass the New York Dream Act .
Let’s Tap Into The Future
Let’s END Deportations
Let’s Work Together
Guadalupe. Undocumented. Unapologetic. Unafraid.