It Gets Better…
But does it?
Does it really get better for undocumented immigrant?
See, here’s the thing. When someone struggles in some area of life, very often we can say to them, you are not alone, there are others who are where you are
now, and there are so many who are passed this. There is hope. Look at those who overcame.
Who can the undocumented Americans look at? Who is our hope in this case?
Sure, we are definitely not alone, but is there a future?
Take Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American. He came out to the world that he is an undocumented American. You say so what? It is a big deal. You see, Jose, is a journalist who went on winning a Pulitzer Prize, who met President Obama in the White House and I believe and built so much guilt within him that he decided he must do something.( My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant, Vargas, NY Times)
He could have stayed hidden. And probably not got caught. But he opened up about the topic and it is why so many of us are having this conversation.
So some say he is an example of hope.
But sadly, he is not. He is just like us. Only difference is he was able to make it big with fake papers. Not sure if he is still using it or not, but now he goes around informing people of this topic. Of why it is so important to give us a chance. Who knows how many of us could become Pulitzer Prize winners.
I remember it clearly. When I was offered to get fake i.d.s so that I could drive like my friends, enter places without having to carry a passport, or just feel normal for the most part. Get a bank account. Social. The whole deal (minus global travels).
I said no. Some called me a fool. An idiot. But at that age of 17 I wanted to abide to the law. I said I will get papers the legit way. I wanted to be a true American. So yes, I now have massive limitations, some fear of deportation but I am not standing idle.
I am going to be honest. There were so many times I just wanted to end it. That the hassle wasn’t worth it. That I will never be legal. And perhaps, I wasn’t worthy to live. I felt trapped and often feel alone still today.
Yes, there are so many of me out there but there’s no one to look at. No one to say to us “there is hope”.
I felt in a funk the past few weeks. I have been writing much on this topic. Talking to many lawyers. Writing to politician (if they only really read what we write). Calling their offices. Letters to the White House.
And yet, nothing. I am still undocumented. It eats me up, it gets me down and I had allowed it to take me away from other projects feeling sad.
But here I am, as lonely as I feel, and as lonely many of you feel, there is indeed hope. There is a smile awaiting. “A future.”
Just go to YouTube and type in The Dream Act. Watch how some Senators take our stories to heart. Watch how united so many of us are in this issue. How we believe we can do so much for this country.
Yes, we have no one to look toward to for hope but I say screw that. Look at us. How many of us are volunteering HOURS for non profits. How many of us are leaders in our own way. It funny when you hear the President of the student body is often undocumented. I was and many I know were. It’s funny when they are the one leading departments in their schools or volunteer services in their community.
There is hope.
Yes, look at Jose. Look at how he decided to step up and say, “let’s define american“.
Look at me. I am no one special and yet I am here with you. I volunteer hours at non profits. I help small businesses become more profitable. I use my mind. I know you do to.
I create hope. Jose is creating hope. We are in this together creating hope.
I don’t know when this Dream Act will pass or if ever. But I do know as lonely as it will get out there, it will get better.