We are all living under the same sky but living a different journey. My journey is different than yours even though we may have some similarities. I only hope that with this post I reach out to some human beings out there reading and understand this piece of me.
I was born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. I was brought to the United States by my parents at the age of 6. I have resided in the U.S. since 1999, which means that I did Kindergarden and some of First grade in Mexico. Spanish was my first language and became fluent in English shortly after arriving to the U.S. My father already spoke English so he would teach me at a very young age. Between the ages of 6-17 a lot of those earlier memories were a huge blur or I just didn’t care to remember how I got to where I got until I turned 18 and was officially, in my head, out in the world without the care of my parents and I could no longer hide under their wings from the law or people who shamed illegal aliens.
For the longest time after that I was embarrassed, not because of where I came from but because there were racial slurs growing up that I would hear kids say to other kids and I never wanted to be targeted in that manner. I would hide my Government Issued Matricula for the same reasons,because as an adult the judgement actually gets harder and I didn’t want to be called out for being illegal in front of peers. I would cringe at the thought of not being able to work because I did not have a social security number. I was scared that the wrong person would find out that I was an illegal alien and hate me for it or act against me. I’m a worrier of things in general so I’m sure I over analyzed that a lot. And for me it was better to be quiet about it.
I remember my senior year of high school before DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and thinking that I did not want to go to college because I’d never be able to work even if I had a degree. It was something I struggled with for so long because I was seeing all of my peers apply to college with the hopes of graduating one day and being financially stable and having a good job and all I could think was, “cool, I guess I’d better find a fake social so I can work someday”. I was excited when I graduated High School and started Cosmetology School that August of 2010 because I imagined that I could work at a salon and be paid in cash. I did begin working at salons and was able to have an income legally.
When news was out that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was available for children who were brought here, to the U.S., at a young age would be able to apply and be allowed to work here, it was like I took a breath of air for the very first time. It was more than words could describe. I found myself a lawyer that I paid for myself and he helped me fill and send out all my paperwork. Since April of 2014 I have been under a work permit and legal residency. It really isn’t a very long time and I felt for every single person that was in my same position. I mean, it was just unbelievable.
A huge Thank You goes out to our former President Mr. Obama for making this dream happen for so many of us! It was one of the best things that could have happened to me and I will be endlessly thankful to him and those that agreed and helped make things right for those of us that had no say to being brought here. Glad my mom drove me places so I could get it done and stood in lines with me early in the mornings to have the correct requirements. And another Thank you to Matt who stood by me through it without ever judging me or doubting me and always supporting me.
My mom and I.
I am now applying for my renewal and have the biggest hopes that everything works out once again. For me, for my daughter, and for all the dreams that I have that depend on this permit.
For those of you out there that are reading this and relate, I wish you absolutely nothing but the best because you deserve it.
For those of you reading this and had no idea what it was like, thank you for being part of this and understanding.
We are all humans. We all have a journey.
Let’s hope and pray that our current President doesn’t change this for us.