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Opinion: United We Dream

Litzy Rodriguez, Reporter

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Immigrants 1: People who leave loved ones and language behind. 2: those who do whatever it takes to better themselves and their families; not criminals, rapists, drug dealers or terrorists.

Growing up the word “immigrant” never came to my attention. I thought that if I lived here, I was just automatically considered an American. But my experiences as an “American” were very similar to many Mexican immigrants, even if I did not use that term. We came to the US with high hopes. My brother was growing up with a severe scoliosis problem, and my parents believed that the US would provide him with better care. However, the fact that we were from Mexico posed numerous struggles and challenges along the way.

I remember feeling scared, freighted and panicky every time I would see a cop. I thought they would send my family and I back to Mexico. Immigrating to the United States from Mexico at the age of four was an advantage for me because learning everything at a young age made it easier. As for my brother and parents, they struggled with learning a new language. We left our home, friends, and family business behind. Luckily, we had relatives to rely on, but it was like starting from scratch all over again.

My dad was able to get hired at a car shop, but it was hard work for cheap pay. It was one of the few occupations that did not require proof of citizenship. I can still remember when we got our first bed; it upset me that it was for my brother’s comfort and not for us. We had years and years of Christmas’ where we had to sign up with associations to give us gifts, because my parents couldn’t afford to buy us any. I always hoped that one day we would overcome these struggling times.

As a young immigrant I could not understand what was going on. For the longest time I had memories that didn’t make sense, but now everything falls into place. I now understand why my parents always told me “Echale ganas” or “Do your best” in school to achieve anything goal my brother and I would set our minds to. Looking back at it now, our struggles from having nothing to being able to have the resources to type this essay today, has pushed me to overcome my situation. My parents never got to graduate, it is up to me to work hard and get a college degree. I knew that because I didn’t have certain papers I would have to work 10 times harder in order to become successful. Along with the millions of others, I can say I am, “Another immigrant coming up from the bottom.”

In 2012, former President Barrack Obama passed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act, also known as the Dream Act (DACA) that allowed children that came to the U.S. that met certain criteria’s to have deferred action for a period of two years. Not only did this prevent these children and young adults from being deported for a certain amount of time, but it allowed them to have permission to work and a social security while going to, attending school. DACA became the light at the end of the tunnel for millions of immigrants. They can now confidently reach for their dreams and become a united community known as Dreamers. In 2017, now that President Trump is in office, the idea of changing DACA or repealing it has been a controversial topic in office.

For four years, Dreamers have gone to college, worked and paid taxes, or at least lived their life without fear of being deported. Even though those privileges are currently at stake right now, all 1.2 millions of us dreamers will not give up hope. Dreamers have been fighting to keep in state financial aid for undocumented immigrants. We need DACA, because without these in state financial aids to assist Dreamers in paying for college, the idea seems more distant for Dreamers. As young dreamers, we have the power in our hands to pressure these legislative’s to give us a chance at the renewal or repeals of legislatures act coming up in Texas. With or without financial aid we will find a way like we always have. Everyone, no matter what their color, age, sex, religion, etc., we should be able to get an education and pursue the American Dream.

We are lawyers and doctors. We are teachers and students. We are loving parents that do whatever it takes to have jobs so we can provide food for our family and children. We are farmers, activists, politicians, grocery store cashiers, McDonald’s employees, your neighbors, and all the people around you. We are Dreamers. We are those who face discrimination and get separated from their families, but climb bridges and mountains for a better life.

An immigrant is one that crosses oceans, rivers, and mountains to achieve the “American Dream”, and as “Dreamers” we are here to stay, to pursue that dream that millions of others before us have.

Immigrant 1: an eternal optimist.

 

“No importa de donde vengo si no adonde voy,” Dreamer Cristian Villalva said. Villalva is a Junior that came from Ciudad de Mexico in 2005. As a dreamer Villalva wishes to go to the University of Texas at Austin and get a degree in chemistry. After getting a degree he’d like to go back to mexico and set up a medical center. His motivation throughout the years has been to make his parents proud and be successful. Success to him is completing the “American Dream” as a young immigrant.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Opinion: United We Dream”

  1. Rebecca Miller on May 6th, 2017 1:30 pm

    This is amazing, Litzy. I’m so proud of you.

    [Reply]

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