Define American

Using the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation around citizenship

AMERICAN, DEFINED

Growing up American

| Anonymous

I share your sentiments Jose because I too have lived your journey. I came to New York at the age of 15 and lived there undocumented until I was 32 years old. I did everything American children were doing. I enrolled in high school and did well. I went to college and earned an AA and BA. I worked and worked very hard and never asked for any handouts. I just could not regularize my status. I tried many ways to legalize my status legally but just kept hitting brick walls. I spent thousands of dollars in attorney fees trying to regularize my status none of which helped me. It was a frustrating experience which led to me being in a state of depression because I felt helpless. I felt like no matter what I tried to do to help myself, nothing worked. The government certainly weren't listening to me or others in similar situations like me. We just want to live a normal life like other Americans are doing without being "found out". I wish that the government would look at Immigration as a serious issue and bring it to the forefront of its agenda. It's time to start the debate, it's time to do something about it and not just talk about it anymore. We are not all criminals. After all, America was built by Immigrants.
 
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