Alexandra California

Seeking help in a new country

Many of us want a chance to be part of the United States of America, but is it worth risking our lives to face later deportation back to the country we fled?

Dear Next President,

Imagine having to get out of your country that’s unsafe and has a corrupt government. In other cases, many leave their countries because they want a better future for themselves and their families. Not many can achieve this by staying in their country. Immigrants leave their loved ones behind in hope that they would be back one day with more to offer. The reality is that at times this doesn't happen; we leave our country thinking that everything is going to be perfect once we get to the U.S.A. After risking our lives for weeks or even months, some get deported. It’s also difficult for undocumented immigrants to find a job or somewhere to live, but most importantly support from others once they arrive here.

In my case my mother and I were fleeing Peru from my own father. My mom and I were in danger and we couldn't stay there anymore. My mom was a single, hard-working mother. Once my mom finished her bachelor’s degree in teaching there were jobs waiting for her outside of Peru, and my grandparents took care of me while she was away trying to make enough money to help my family. I understood why she would leave me. My mother didn't want to be months apart from me anymore; she wanted a better future for us. So she made the decision to come to the United States. Many things had to be left back in our country.

Although we tried to enter the United States legally, the process was long and even took years. When we did apply, we were denied any type of visa. We risked our lives coming here illegally. We were unsure of what we had waiting ahead of us. My mom and stepdad paid thousand of dollars to hire coyotes and get illegal documents to cross the border. 

The crossing didn't go as we had planned. In Tijuana, we walked through a bridge that would lead us to our final destination. Once my mother and I presented the fake documents, immigration officers started to question us right away. I was nine years old when I faced an immigration officer, who forced me turn my mom and I in by threatening to take me away from my mom. We were put in a cold room and were given blankets with lice. The next day we were sent to an immigration detention center for six long months, until the judge decided we could stay in the United States legally. My mother and I are thankful for this country being able to give us the chance to start a new beginning.

Even though we went through so much, my mother and I didn't have it as hard as other people do. I truly believe that everyone deserves a chance to have a better future. I know the fear that immigrants have when they are running from someone or something in their country and are not sure if coming to the United States was the best choice. We face obstacle to have a better life in this country but does this matter to you Mr. President? Approximately 438,421 undocumented immigrants are being deported back to their country. What about women and children, like me, who are seeking asylum from violence in Central America?

So Mr. President, there needs to be a way to fix this. Deporting immigrants is not the answer; they come here in search for help. There needs to be a change. We should help those that risk their lives to come here, instead of deporting them once their status is revealed.

Most respectfully,