I am an immigrant.

I am an immigrant.

I was not born in the United States. But it is my home now.

I was not raised in the United States. But my life is here now.

I was born in a country that was once beautiful. A country with culture, with emotion, with music, with poetry, and faith.

Mexico. That was my home. That was where I belonged. But Mexico is dying. And we are doing nothing about it.

I suffer for my country. I suffer for this world. I wish I could heal it but I cannot do it alone.

I moved to the United States when I was a little girl. Brownsville, Texas. In a matter of hours, I left my home and went on my way to another one.

I remember thinking that this country was marvelous. I remember thinking that this country was the home of dreamers. The things I had seen in the movies were just wonderful. Soon I realized that things were not what they seemed.

My parents were terrified every day. They had their heads over their shoulders constantly, and my hand clasped firmly in theirs. As a 10 year old, I did not understand what the term “illegal immigrant” meant. I was only looking for safety. My family was not dangerous. We were looking to start over.

As I grew older, I realized that this country did not want me here. My views on the world changed. And I was only a kid.

No kid should have to go through what I went through.

Shootings, blood, running away, extreme fear, and the hostility of a country that always says they want to help but end up doing differently.

I have come to love this country. Almost as much as I love mine. Even if this country doesn't accept me the way I wish it would.

I am still part of this country. I am still loyal to this country, as much as I am to mine. I don´t believe in the idea that you can only be loyal to one country. We are supposed to be loyal to the whole world, aren't we?

I have gotten an education in this country for 7 years. And it has been a great one. Next year, I will be 18. I will be an adult, and I will have to make a path for myself. I have goals, like every teenager does. But I am not just any teenager.

Sure, my parents and I now live here legally. But what does that help? We are still oppressed. We are still treated as outsiders. We are still looked down upon. I guess a piece of paper doesn't do as much a difference as the government thinks it does.

I will make a difference because I have a voice. Because I have seen the way the government works. My wanting to have a good life is every year a more arduous process. So I will make a difference.

If not for me, then for the kids who will come after me. For my kids, for your kids, for the next generation.

I dream of a world in which immigrants are welcome. I dream of the United States to be “united”. I dream for protection and I hope I can help achieve it.

I wish there wouldn't be stereotypes against immigrants, because half the time they are not true. We are not robbers. Or murderers. Or trash. We do not deserve to be treated less, just because we do not hold the same nationality as you may.

We are family. We are kind. We are hardworking. We are hopeful. And we are dreamers. Bust most of all…we are scared.

And we shouldn't be.

I hope one day we will be accepted into this country, and others. I hope one day we can call this nation our home. But until then, I will fight for it.

And I will never give up.