Define American

Transcending politics through a new conversation

A Matter of Faith

Bell, CA | Fermin Vasquez

My mother came here with $5 in her pocket. She believed that through hardwork, sacrifice, and a commitment to personal responsibility she would succeed.

Every day she wakes up at 5 am and abides by those values, sometimes working two jobs to make ends meet and to provide a good education to me and my younger sister. After five years of separation, my mom decided that it was time for me join her in these country. At the age of 11, I crossed three borders to be united with my mother, from El Salvador all the way to Los Angeles. Like my mother, I knew that success would not come easy, but I did every everything that my pastor, teachers, and mentors told me to do.

Like thousands of hardworking young people across our country, I graduated from college and now I want to give back to this country I call home and to the community that saw me flourished. Home is here in Los Angeles. The beauty of those fighting to pass the DREAM Act is that they have learned to tune-out of the song that says that if you don't have a 9-digit social security number, your dreams don't matter. We have turned the station to a song that says that to be an American is a matter of the values that define our lives.

It is only by working together that we can achieve the dreams that we share and hold. Its true, I did not come here with the "right" papers. BUT I've been raised with the right values.

Let's Talk.

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

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