I am American
Ann Arbor, MI | Daniel Morales
I come from parents who are natives of Mexico. I come from a father with a 3rd grade education and a mother with a diploma from a Catholic Convent, though my parents both were living in the United States when they met. They started a life together in one of Los Angeles County's many immigrant enclaves, and I was meant to be an American born success story.
Unfortunately, due to the death of my great grandmother in Mexico, my parents decided to travel back to the funeral. The sudden and premature birth of my twin sister and I in the city of Chihuahua changed the dynamic of the life I would experience forever.
I was brought back to California illegally at 8 months old because my father was only a permanent resident, not a citizen. I have never gone back to Mexico. I lived as an undocumented immigrant in the United States until July of this year.
I am now 19 and am a freshman at the University of Michigan hoping to study Public Policy and Sociology. My life story is a difficult one full of poverty stricken barriers and socially constructed unequal opportunity. The collective effort of my family and community have put me in a place where upward mobility and influencing social change are possibilities. I am American.
It's time for a new conversation about immigration in America, and it starts with us.