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I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

I am also an immigrant

Nowadays there are in the United States approximately 47 million of immigrants from around the world, and from them approximately 10.5 to 12 million are undocumented (3.2%-3.6% of the population). What it means that these people live in darkness because they have no voice and they remind themselves of silence because they think that is the only way they can stay and keep working to help their families. 

Im also an immigrant and I know the feel of despair, at school, in the streets, and in places surrounded by many people; you feel fear. When you are undocumented you know that if you fail, your dreams can come to an end. You face lock opportunities and somethings you see yourself forced to do lie and to do things wrong. For example, some people use the address of another state to be able to get a driver license or to get medical insurance. They know its not right, but they have no options, and theres people that decide to survive with what they have. 

 

My case is not special, but I have seen my mom going to courts and used the grillete (Electronic Shackles) for months, and from that day on I started facing a hard reality, I hated that grillete, I hated to see my mom’s leg connected to a wall during the nights, I hated that she had a schedule to go out, I hated that on Mondays she received a visit from one of the ICE employer, I hated the phone calls; and all this frustrated because I couldn’t help her and I knew the only thing I could help with was doing good at school, giving my all and doing things right to compensate all her sacrifices.  I have seen my mom cry at night missing my sisters and her parents, but I couldn’t cry even when my heart breaks out every time I see her because I missed them too and I have to be my moms’ strength.  Saw her cry thinking about what she is going to do to find a job and know I didn’t have the time yet to work and help her. I have seen her struggle with money and there I learned to be more conscious and to value everyday all her sacrifices. I also have seen her suffer when she found out she has diabetes and I remember perfectly her tears when she was telling me what was going on with, this specific day I feel like my world was falling apart; I never imagine that my mom could get any disease and I know it has a treatment but that specific feeling of fear started to take over me. I have missed her when she worked at night for years and I just had the opportunity to see her sleep before I left for school, I was alone most of the time. I have missed her for my birthdays and for her birthdays too.

 

Its hard to see yourself at 14-15 years taking life responsibilities by yourself and knowing that you cant fail, no mistakes are allowed. It wasn’t easy for my mother and neither for me, I wanted to do things right. I wanted my mom to feel proud of what I could achieve. But nowadays I feel that I couldn’t make her feel proud; she wants me to study and I want to be a military, but for right now my dreams are paused. Going to college is the only option that I have, and I know I have to pay for my studies by myself, but there have been economical drawbacks and I have to pause my future to prioritize other things like my immigration case. I would keep working for it, and I know that my time has not come yet and I won’t lose my faith. 

 

I know there are many cases similar to mine or even worse, and things can change just if we want them to change. There are many organizations that help and support immigrants with their needs but it is in us to see a change. People need to lose their fears, people need to rise up. We are here for a reason and I know that the majority are hard worker people that wake up in the morning every day to build a better opportunity for their children like my mom did for me. We are stronger, we are smart, and we always find a way to survive whatever challenge life throws at us. We are here for our family and for them we fight, for them we suffer discrimination and humiliations, for them we do the hard work of this country, like construction, cleaning, cooking, farming; we adapt to anything.

 

I also know there are many cases of discrimination and social racism to immigrants, specially from the white community,and that hate to immigrants has increased during the past years after the candidacy of the now President Trump. He calls us criminals, he blames us for U.S economic problems. But we can do things right to show them who we really are, to make our families proud. We together, we can make the change, for our kids, for our families, for a better life opportunity. 

 

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