Dear Future President,
Have you ever imagined yourself in the shoes of an immigrant? Could you picture being separated from family and loved ones, spending the holidays with ‘friends’ who seem to be strangers, and life here is constantly burning sweat and tears, and still being pushed around by others?. I ask you once more, could you picture a life like this? You have been in this country for years, you have caused no harm, and when you finally get a shot at being legal, you are denied. The reason often times is unknown. No good excuses, because you have been clean for all of your life here. You've never known how it's felt to feel so hopeless and miss your family so much that you feel like there's no reason to still be here but you put up with it for the better life of your children and yourself.
This is how so many immigrants have felt. Not just Mexicans, not just latinos, Llots of different people from all around the world. Here is a fictional story, based off too many real stories:
The room is dark and quiet. The place is so old, the wooden floor is creaky. The door barely closes, the knob is non existent. She’s aware that she has to get up. Her parents are in Mexico, and she must work to provide them of food and clothing. Her niece has to go to school, her parents can’t afford the uniform. So she gets up. She looks around, and is grateful for the conditions she lives in.
Just thinking about the trash she lives in back home makes her squirm around in disgust. She had grown tired of what she lived in and packed her bags when she was sixteen. She’s twenty-two, it’s been six years since she has seen her family. When she left, her niece was a newborn, and her parents were healthy. But now, everything is complicated.
Bianca misses her family. She spends holidays with other illegal co-workers but it’s never fun. They all just drink and get on talk about their homes. Smoking has become a new habit of hers due to her loneliness. But luckily, after years of working here, in the U.S., she has gotten her hands on a lawyer. Maybe now, she’ll have a chance at being legal. Maybe now, she’ll be able to see her family. Hope is there, finally hope has been revived inside her, and there won’t be any going back. After so many years, she allowed herself to have self-hope.
She starts walking home from her second job, it's only an hour after midnight and she has to get up early tomorrow again to get ready for her other job. That one starts at 7:00 a.m. Having to fend for herself, sending money back to her family in Mexico, having to pay the lawyer she found, preparing to pay other lawyers just incase her current one bails, and having no well paying jobs, overwhelmed her to the max, but she couldn’t complain. This was all for her own and for her family’s future.
She paid the lawyer she finally got her hands on five thousand to help her. Five thousand was all she really had. After years of working so hard, and putting up with people that thought less of her, the same people who gave her hard times, and dealing with the things she had to deal with, she finally came up with enough money to pay a lawyer. Finally, she thought, a lawyer to help her. The sad part is, she got her hopes up for nothing. Her lawyer, walked through the old, shabby door one day and delivered bad news. He could not help her. She didn't get the money back.
Now, who was supposed to help her? She could pray to God, hope that everything she worked hard for payed off. Reminded herself constantly that she had to stay, that her family needed her more now than ever. But she longed to see their faces, to smile at them and give them news that she was legal. That she had the benefits of a legal resident. But she had to realize, those were all things in her dreams.
It’s been four years since the lawyer incident. Ten years since Bianca has seen the faces of her family members. After so many years, she had finally found a lover. Like her, her boyfriend was illegal. He was a Guatemalan immigrant, who had also been conned by a lawyer. In the immigrant community, it happened all too often. Bianca was twenty-six now, and worked at better jobs. She still had two, but they paid better, The money that at one point took six years to get, took her four years now. She had recovered the five thousand dollars that had been wasted with her new jobs
Once more, the Mexican immigrant allowed herself some hope. When she called back home, her conversations with her parents were brighter. She’d tell them that she was getting her hands on new lawyers, she hear that her niece was doing well in school, and her mother’s health was improving. With the income of both of her and her lover’s, things were now more affordable.
Fortunately she no longer lived in such conditions as before. Though where she lived was better than back at home, it didn’t take a genius to realize that where she lived wasn’t the best. Nor the healthiest. She cleaned and cleaned and rats would still infest, the street she lived in was absolute trash. But now, things were looking up. She moved in with that boyfriend of her’s and lived in way better conditions.
Things were looking up, but nothing lasts forever. Her friend, whom she works with and was also an immigrant, Brittney just told her that immigration agents are walking in and checking out the place they’re working at. Panic filled inside her and suddenly she started seeing black dots circling her vision, not many seconds later her head came in contact with the floor. Her friend Brittany screamed as people, including some of the immigration agents came over to see what happened.
People continued asking questions as to what had happened an hour later after Bianca gained consciousness. Her head hurt, and it hurt even more when she remembered that the agents would be coming. The most dreadful thing to hear, was a question, in which one of the agents had asked to see her ID.
Bianca felt the salty tears fall down her cheek and land into her mouth as she was forcefully pushed out of the factory. In a flash, just like she was pushed out of her job, she was pulled out of the country. Her lover could not help her, her lawyer could not help her, no one could help her. So, before she knew it she had arrived back ‘home.’ Just like that, it was the end of it all. All the tears and sweat had gone to waste, because the process of being legal was unfair, and no matter how many good years she served, she did not get to stay.