Define American

Transcending politics through a new conversation

Once Undocumented

Purcellville, VA | Paolita Tinta

I had the comfort of coming here on a plane, but the discomfort from age 5 of living with the secret that I knew would wreck my family's life if it got out: that we were undocumented. We were blessed to get papers by the time I reached fourth grade, but we could have just as easily not have gotten them.

Today I am a graduate from The Johns Hopkins University and am currently working on a Master's degree in International Development. This country has opened up wondrous opportunities for me, but I often stop and think about how different my life may have been if we had remained undocumented... how restricted my choices and contributions would have been.

This is why I identify with the immigrant movement, because it could have been me or anyone in my family. I support comprehensive immigration reform that opens up paths for legalization for those immigrants who have been thus far a positive contribution to the USA. And more than anything I support the DREAM Act for youth whose home is here and can contribute to a brighter American future if given the chance.

I could have easily been one of these DREAMers with all the talent and hopes of bettering myself but no way to do so.

Let's Talk.

It's time for a new conversation about immigration in America, and it starts with us.

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