We may forget sometimes, only being reminded when we see traumatic news from other countries or on the fourth of July; but we live in the greatest country in the world.
I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but a lot of social media can support me when I say this generation spends a lot of time highlighting the “bad” about our country. Countless times I’ve heard people my age talk about how corrupt the American system is and how much this country “sucks”. There’s plenty to discuss about what we can do to be better-nobody and nothing is perfect. However, it’s easy to forget the big picture. US citizens are lucky to live safely in America. I want to create a voice that takes a stand for this great country by bringing attention to the immigration rights movement.
I am blessed to have been born here and call America my home. I am blessed to not have to wake up and worry if today will be the day I will be figured out, and deported. I am blessed to not have to live a lie. I am blessed to be able to get close to others and be myself. I was dramatically impacted after reading the articles this week for my course. Reading stories like “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Vargas can help us remember what others are going through just to get a chance to have what we sometimes take for granted. It expresses what life is like on a day-to-day basis for those that have come to America for a better life, but are without legal status. I was shaken by this quote describing his experience as an undocumented immigrant.
“But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st‐century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.”
(Jose Vargas. “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”)
Those like Jose live in guilt, struggling to make a life for themselves and not get caught while their citizenship status hinders their possibility to climb their way up the corporate ladder. These undocumented immigrants are held back from completing simple tasks which ends up breaking down their sense of self-sufficiency and confidence. Even if they somehow found a way to succeed, they live with the constant anxiety of being exposed as an illegal immigrant and having to leave everything behind. The author of this article, and founder of Define America, has recently decided to come out with his true identity.
Define American is a non-profit media and culture organization that uses the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America. (Google Definition).
After committing countless crimes and fraud do you think he deserves to get punished and kicked out of ‘The Land of the Free”? Maybe after everything he’s contributed to America (won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings and founded Define American, which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform) he deserves a chance to stay.
I believe that everyone should have the chance to create a better life for themselves, but that doesn’t give them the right to commit crimes. However, the citizenship process shouldn’t be so hard that it almost forces those to commit these crimes. It’s a very touchy subject. However, bringing this issue to the media and spreading stories like Jose’s could potentially have a ripple effect for those who are living a similar life. Define America could be the beginning to something that could really work. Using the media, these stories will create awareness and one day, maybe, we will be able to come to a fair solution.
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Citations: “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Vargas