On the first day of Spring of the year 1992, I was born in the city of San Luis Potosi, S.L.P., Mexico. In 1998, when I was only 6 years old my parents decided to come to the United States based on the belief that life here would be easier and greater opportunities to prosper would be offered.
I can barely remember the trip to the U.S. When I try to remember, it all feels like a dream. My father was already in the U.S. at that time, while my mother, little brother, and I were still in Mexico. One day my mom told us that we were finally going to meet my dad in “Los Estados Unidos”. I was so excited because I had not seen my dad in what felt like years, but in reality was only 6 months.
Our long journey began later that day. We took a taxi to the bus station, and then from the bus station to a city near the border. There we met with two women who were waiting for us. My mom got in the trunk and my brother and I were placed in the back seat with one of the women. They kept telling me to lie about my name when we crossed the border. At the moment I didn’t know why, but then I realized it was because I was crossing the border using someone else’s documents. After several hours of waiting in line to cross, it finally came to be our time to pass. The women told my mom to stop making any noise because we are about to cross and they reminded me of my new name I needed to tell the officer if he asks me. Luckily the officer did not ask me anything and we made it across with no problems.
After a few hours of driving, the women left us in another city where my father was waiting. I was so relieved to be in my father’s arms again. Our new lives started in this new country thought to be the land of opportunities. At first we lived with my uncle for a few months, then finally my parents saved up enough money to get our own apartment. Later, I was enrolled in school. It was challenging at the beginning since I did not know the language. Fortunately, the school had just started giving bilingual classes so my mother enrolled me in those classes and it got a bit easier. I soon picked up the new language, and I became one of the top students in my class.
Three years had passed when my dad was told that he could obtain his permit through his job and that he was able to submit applications for the entire family. His employer was happy to give him the news and immediately started looking for an attorney who could help him with his case. Unfortunately, the attorney that my dad’s employer found only spoke English so my dad had to communicate through the attorney’s assistant. We thought we had been blessed with this great opportunity for all four of us to become legal. Everything seemed like it was going great! My parents got their first house and my brother and I were super excited that we finally had a backyard we could finally run around in. My parents had a job and my brother and I were taking advantage of the great education this country could offer.
While our applications were still pending, in 2007 my parents received their biometrics appointments, later they received their work permit and they could finally go and obtain their own social. A year later I turned working age and I told my parents I wanted to start working in order to help them, so they told the attorney to go ahead and submit my application for the work permit. I received my work permit and with that I got my own social. Life was great, and we were no longer afraid that we were going to be caught using someone else’s information.
Now it was the year 2010, when we finally got our last appointment with immigration, where they were going to decide if we got approved for the residency or not. My father insisted that his attorney’s office to set up appointment and consult with him on what we need to say at this appointment and they denied us the appointment and just told us to be early and we can meet with the attorney then.
On the day of the appointment we could not find the attorney because through all these years, my dad only met with him in person, just for a few minutes about three times. It was after an hour later that we finally met with him. Luckily we had been there earlier than our appointment time so we made in just in time. We asked the attorney once again what we needed to say and he seemed like he had no idea about our case, he just told us just answer their questions truthfully. So we went in and we answered the questions truthfully. On one of the questions my dad was answering I saw the attorney just slam his folder and sighed. I knew at that moment my dad had answered incorrectly and things were about to take a turn for the worst. At the end the attorney told us the bad news. “You are going to face deportation!!” We were in shock!
We kept asking him “Why?!” “What did we do?” He simply told us that if my dad had told him the truth from the beginning he would have never taken our case because we did not qualify. What the attorney originally failed to obtain from my dad was that he entered the U.S. illegally twice, that he came one time stayed for a few months went back and returned illegally once again. My dad said he had confessed all of this to the assistant but for some odd reason, was lost in translation.
On my final year of high school I faced deportation. My dreams of going to a university and becoming an Electrical Engineer with my friends vanished. My parents were talking about returning to Mexico because they did not want to hide and be afraid of the police or getting arrested.
I didn’t want to go to Mexico. My life was here, I grew up here, in the land of opportunity… I even asked one of my best friends if she could hide me in her house so I would not have to leave my home. At the end my parents decided to stay because they had hope that this country would one day change all these unjust immigration laws. They believed that the US would give opportunities to those immigrants with great moral character who are trying to fulfill the American dream and become legal citizens.
That day came on June 12, 2012 when DACA was established. Although this only benefited my brother and I, my parents were overjoyed that their children could now live without the fear of deportation and that they would have the opportunity to prosper. Despite DACA, I didn’t go back to school. I now have a good job as a Legal Assistant to a criminal attorney. I have a family and finally I am making plans to buy my house and raise my children in this country that has been hard on me, but at the same time given me the opportunity to to get a great education. I now have hope that there can be an opportunity for my parents who are still living here with fear of being deported at any time.
I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. I came to the United States when I was about 2 years old in 1995. I came here because my parents wanted to provide my brothers and I with a chance for a better life.
My father was already in the US at the time, but my mom and two brothers lived in Mexico. He worked here and sent us money back home. Eventually, he made arrangements for us to become permanent residents. My mom brought us all over to the US as soon as she could.
I was only about 2 at the time, so I didn’t have a reason per se. However, my family came over here because there was work here and better schools. I adjusted pretty well since I was so young. It was a lot more difficult for my mom than anyone else because she had to leave her entire family behind. My father’s mom and siblings came over here too so he seemed to be fine. The biggest hurdle for us was the language barrier. My oldest brother had to translate letters and important documents for my parents because he was the first one to learn English in school.
Part of living as an immigrant is that you never have the guarantee of keeping your family together. Even being here legally, getting in legal problems can result in deportation. My father was an alcoholic and constantly struggled with trying to get sober. When you’re an immigrant, there’s not a lot of help you can get. He got arrested for driving while drunk more than once and eventually had his resident status revoked. Things got hard for my family once he was deported, but adversity only brought us closer together. My two brothers had to work while still in high school in order to support the family.
I was fortunate to have my family provide the support they did. Even when I was old enough to work, my brothers still supported me and encouraged to focus on school rather than help them pay bills. Because of that I was able to be the first in my family to attend a University. I am now a Computer Science major and only a semester away from graduation.
I just recently obtained citizenship. It was not particularly a difficult process since there was so much information available online. As for the interview part, many of the questions I was required to study were things learned in history class in elementary and high school. They give applicants a booklet with all the questions they are required to study for free. The booklet even comes with a CD that contains the audio version of the questions. There are also flash cards available online for studying. So that part wasn’t difficult at all for me.
A minor challenge was that you don’t get a say in when you set up your appointments. After sending the required fee, forms and documents, you get a letter telling you that you have to be at a certain place at a certain time. You have an option to reschedule, but you still won’t get to pick the day or time. As a student, I work and go to school so keeping these appointments meant having to miss class. I can imagine others who work full time or don’t have a reliable form of transportation would have a hard time with this part of the process.