commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

A Good and True Illegal Immigrant Story……And the Dream Act…..

I found this story out there about a woman who found out that she was an illegal immigrant when she was 13, went on tp get herself legal and moved on to graduate school…go to college and graduate school and get a chance to let us know her story of how she became one of the 300 million american’s that we are proud of…..

This is something people should not be afraid of…..

Immigration has a personal face……

This piece includes a push for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as The Dream Act…..This bill proposes to offer full citizenship to children of illegal immigrants who have been on America for a certain time and can demonstrate good character and eduction…..the bill would apply to people in the US military that meet the same criteria….

Countless demonstrations have taken place in a national effort to bring attention to theDevelopment, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as The Dream Act. In solidarity with the Dream Act, and the countless students who would benefit from this legislation, I share with you my own journey from a small country in Central America to the vast urban jungle of Los Angeles.

2010-05-21-dreamactbutton.jpgFrom 1980 – 1992, my country of origin, El Salvador, was deeply entangled in a civil war. Financially supported by the U.S. government under President Carter and President Reagan, the Salvadoran government was able to wage war against its citizens in the final stages of the Cold War.

I lost my father because of this war. He died trying to protect the basic human rights of farmers, mothers and children.

In 1983, when I was just three years old, my mother, just in her early 20’s, made a decision that would change our destiny. She would go to the U.S., work and to find a way to send money back home so that I could join her. The irony of relocating to a

country that enabled the Salvadoran government to propel thousands of its citizens to leave doesn’t escape me.

Within a few years, working as a nanny despite having a bachelor’s degree, my mother had saved enough money and sent for me. I was five years old. She had remarried and I had a new family. Life was wonderful and the American dream was within reach. I was the oldest of five daughters, and went on to be the first in my family to graduate from an American high school. I received my undergraduate degree from Cal State Los Angeles and just last year, a Masters from the University of Southern California, where I was the student speaker at the Chicano/Latino graduation ceremony. I took out loans and worked countless jobs from selling TV’s at Circuit City to walking dogs to answering phones – my parents had taught me to value of hard work and setting goals.

A few weeks ago, my state senator, Gloria Romero, recognized me as “Woman of the Year” for my work as a broadcaster and for my community service.

As I read the headlines of students risking deportation in acts that are nothing short of true American patriotism in efforts to increase the dialogue on the need for comprehensive immigration reform, I cant help but wonder about my own journey.

You see, I was thirteen years old when I learned I was undocumented – that I was “illegal.” I had crossed the Mexico and U.S. border with a Mickey Mouse shirt in the backseat of a coyote. Me, the girl who played violin, loved the Dodgers, received straight A’s and always sat in front of the class. How could I be illegal?

Turns out that despite living in a country where people were being murdered, women raped and children going missing, the U.S. government refused us political asylum. We were faced with the option of 1) risking death through war or 2) being in the U.S. without proper paperwork.

The choice was a simple one of survival.

For most teenagers, turning 13 is a right of passage, high school looms ahead with dreams of prom, boys and football rallies. For me, I learned the truth of my status and began to see the world through a different lens. We didn’t leave El Salvador because we wanted to; we left because we had to.

The choices that followed that decision have been a trickle-down effect that occurred the moment President Reagan agreed to increase funding for the Salvadoran civil war.


May 23, 2010 Posted by | Other Things | , , , , | 7 Comments