I’m choosing to live the American Dream
Are you ever scared of persecution being an illegal citizen in the United States?
“I don’t want to say yes because, I don’t want to be thinking about that all the time. I want to live my life here, I want to be as free, I want as much of a normal life as possible, so I don’t think about that a lot. But it is in the back of my mind all the time. I mean I could get deported, so yeah I am afraid just a little bit.”
Where and when were you born?
“I was born in Chihuahua Mexico, December 1993.”
How many years have you been in the United States?
“I’ve been hear more than 13 years now, it will be 14 years in October.”
What were you told when you first moved to America by your parents?
“They just told me that we were moving to the U.S. just to have like a better life. To find better jobs so they could take care of us, so we could learn new things, learn a new language and all that stuff. So we could improve our life quality basically.”
When was the first time you remember being treated differently because of your race?
“Well I remember being in my elementary school, back in Arizona, I moved to Arizona, and I didn’t know English.
I was 9 years old, so I was in 5th grade when I moved here and I didn’t know English and I felt really, well I felt different first of all, but I felt really frustrated at the fact that I couldn’t understand people, what they were saying.
Like Teachers, I had my home room teacher, and she was white, so I couldn’t understand her, she was really nice, but I just couldn’t understand what she was saying.
Whenever I had tests or you know just assignments, homework I didn’t know what they were saying. I remember on the tests just guessing, like oh I’m going to do A right here, I’m going to do B right here, because I had no idea what they were saying. So I would just guess. You know I felt different, I felt… It was bad; it was really frustrating at first.”
What is the worst thing someone has said to you?
“It had to be very recently when by accident my Facebook account was hacked and supposedly I started liking all of these extreme conservative sites all these pro Donald Trump pages, and I was invited or I requested to be in a very conservative group.
Which I joined and when I realized that I unliked and unfollowed all the pages, but I stayed on one page to see what they were saying, because it’s not like people just say stuff like that, mean stuff all the time.
So I just stayed to see what they would say what they would talk about. And one time they were just being really mean because they would always say hateful stuff towards liberals, Barrack Obama, you know just people in general, people who are not white.
I told them what I just told you, that I was hacked, that I do not support Donald Trump, that I do not support their view’s. They told me to go back to where I came from, they were calling me names, they were calling me really mean words.
I’m like, I’m not even insulting you. I think I started the post with, I don’t want to insult you, or something because that was not my intention. But they were being really really mean, and I don’t think I deserve that. But that is how some people are I guess.”
What is it like knowing there are people like that around you?
“Its pretty sad because I mean you would think that we have moved on from the hatred, from you know slavery days. Back in the day and all that stuff, but we haven’t.
“People still have that mentality, people still think a race is superior to another race, people think that there superior to somebody because they have fair skin and the other person doesn’t.”
It’s really sad and at times it makes me angry because there not, were all created equal were all equal and I get frustrated.
Any effort, in my part of explaining to them is going to be worthless, because that is just how their brain works, how their mindset is. It’s sad and frustrating mostly.”
Being undocumented what is your greatest fear?
“The whole purpose like I said previously, of coming to the U.S. was to have a better life, and even though yes there is a lot of mean people here, there is mean people everywhere.
So I think I am, in a way living the American Dream and because I do not have a legal status in the country, I could get deported. That’s pretty serious to me.
I do have my parent’s, who are in Mexico right now, so it’s not like I don’t have anyone to go to in Mexico.
People have it worse, people do have their entire family over here, that were brought as children 1 2 3 years old and they don’t know anybody. And they are being deported.
That’s worse so I don’t have it as bad as other people but the simple fact that I am living my life here and to get deported, its pretty sad, its fearful.”
You said the American Dream, describe the American Dream.
“To me the America Dream is simply having a good quality life, and being able to improve or being able to just do what you want to do and not being afraid of just being… of human right just being taken away from you.
I’ve been here 13 years, I’ve been in the United States more than I have been outside of the country. So the American dream for me is I’m going to school, I’m going to a University, so it is simply to get a degree, get a job, you know just live my life. Being able to improve my life.”
As a student and a participating member of society in the U.S how does it feel when someone behaves as if you are not?
“I try not to let those people get to me because those are really ignorant statements. Like I said on the Facebook group, that I am still in I think, they said really hateful stuff, they still are.
I am just like wow this is crazy, and I try to not let it get to me, its sad to see there are people like that, its sad to see that people are very close minded. You know there is so much out there to learn from other people, that’s one of the magical things of being alive, at this time.
Because you get to meet so many different people, you get to learn so many different things, cultures and everything and if you don’t do that then you’re not growing, and that’s not cool.”
If you could say anything without fear of reaction what would you want to say to?
“I did say something to them. The post, the comment that I posted, even though they were just saying stuff back to me. But I am not going to just be insulted by people.
I would probably tell them that what they are saying are really stupid and ignorant comments, that they have to learn from other people, you know that they are very close-minded and that’s not a good thing.
That they have to realize that, we are all going through a struggle, and maybe our struggle is worse than there’s and they need to realize how lucky they are. Just learn from one another. Just learn not to be so hateful.”
Why did you speak up in a public forum that was obviously very prejudice?
“I spoke up when I did, because I just got tired. It wasn’t just what you see on Facebook regularly, there’s always conservative people talking, and liberal people talking. I mean it is just completely hateful stuff.
When there is a picture of the Obama’s, and thier like ‘oh they should be dead’. Stuff like that is just extreme. I don’t remember what the post was that I commented on, but I remember thinking ‘oh I need to say something.’
That was the first post after months of being on the group; I just couldn’t take it anymore. And also I feel like, because they’re so close-minded, they don’t even know the other side. I think that’s one of the reason I posted it because I wanted to show them the other side.”
“I wanted to show them what other people think, show them what they don’t know and what they don’t see.”
What do you want the younger generation of dreamers to know as they face the same persecution?
“That they are not alone, that there are people before them like me, that have been through this, who have felt the disapproval, hatred maybe, indifference and we still kept going we are all part of society.
Just go for it, they need to do what they love to do, they need to go to school have a job they need to not let it stop them, because they are capable of so much good stuff. And they have to go for it, and were here for them to.”
Why do you keep fighting instead of going home?
“First of all I’m a fighter, I want to stay here. I don’t see my life over there in Mexico, even though I love, I love my home country. I see my life in the United States. Even though with all this hatred, there are still a lot more possibilities here then over there I think. I’m staying here because I want to have a better life, and I want to be here.”
“I get to decide where I want to be, and I want to be here.”
What is it like knowing that the person that is supposed to represent America is actively saying and doing things that are racist?
“Donald Trump is not fit to be the president of the United States. Period. There is no way that a president should be acting the way that he is acting or even a presidential candidate when he was one.
To be saying all the hateful stuff toward people. That is not right, it is not right at all. I think it is really sad because we are going back, we are not moving forward, were going way back in society.
And its frustrating because he was elected, there are people who think like him, there are people that believe what he said about the Mexicans that are coming are rapist, and drug dealers, and just criminals and people believe him.
Because of him America is just a joke to other countries, which is not cool. Because we are so much more than Donald Trumps image.”
What is your biggest fear in today’s society?
“My biggest fear, for things to start going back to the way things were decades ago. We need to be moving forward not moving back, we need to be accepting of other cultures. We need to be more accepting of people fleeing other countries because of terrorist.
We need to be more open about other people’s lives, and there struggles and everything they’re going through, its sad to see that there so many hateful people out there.”
“We need to be moving forward and I hope it happens. I hope that it will be just 4 bad years, then we continue with our lives.”
Do you think where you live have an impact on the way you are treated?
“I feel like it would be different living in another place, but I’m not sure how because I’ve lived in Texas the last 10 years almost, so I don’t know how it is to live in a liberal place, so I can’t compare because I don’t know.
But it’s not like I’m not living a normal life, but also you do see what people are doing in Texas and I’m like wow I live here, its sad to see that stuff.”
In 20 years what do you hope to see change in the U.S/World?
“In 20 Years I hope we are more accepting of people, I hope we are more open-minded, just overall as a society, I hope we realize that, no body is superior or inferior, that we are just different.”
“Your not better than me, you’re not worse than me, you just different than me and I feel like some people really have to understand that. So in 20 years I hope that the next generations become more open-minded.”
“Which I do think that my generation and the next generation are more open-minded so that’s a good thing, so I hope it continues that way.”