Me In Five Paragraphs
I arrived at JFK on June 22, 1989 (I still have my airline ticket, and forms filled to enter the US). From there went straight to Massachusetts, to be exact, Marlborough. Loved my first contacts with the US, with Americans, everything was a new shining toy for me. The stores, the 711s, the gas stations, restaurants, malls, gosh, I fell in love right from the get go.
Fast forward 27 years later, still here, now in Miami, but always longing for my Massachusetts. My only fault, never put too much stock on becoming a citizen, a documented immigrant per say. So today, at the age of 52, I struggle to make ends meet, I work 25 hours a week, can’t find another job because I don’t have an ID, although I hold a real social that is registered with my own name, I filed my income taxes for the last 20 plus years, I lived a life within the boundaries of the law, without causing any problems, and yet I am a citizen of nowhere.
Promises, promises, and more promises have been made, and like myself, millions of other undocumented immigrants, that have lived and done the same as me, are still living in the shadows because we are afraid of what can happen to us. Many of us, because of that, may now be dealing with depression, just like I am, simply because we don’t know where we fit, and I mean legally and socially.
What many don’t realize is that, because we have to live in fear for the majority of our time, we lost a little sense of enjoying life as life is meant to be enjoyed. We don’t feel accepted, respected, we don’t feel that we are part of anything as a whole, and even when do, even when there is a glimmer of hope that the sun is shining upon us for once, we suddenly come to that realization that it is not because of merits, because we earned that respect, but because people do it out of pity, at least that what plays on our minds. So we do what we think is best, focus on trying to work as much as we can, spend as little as possible to try to live at least a shred of a decent life, support our loved ones who depend upon us, all the while putting our own lives on hold.
I truly hope that this election cycle things will change, and we can finally come out of the shadows and be who we truly are, live full lives, and enjoy every little bit of minute we have left on our journeys.