My name is Alexis Torres Machado and I am an immigrant. I came to the United States of America at the age of 5 and I have stayed here for 17 years now. The United States is where I grew up. It’s where I made friends, where I went to school, where I graduated, where I learned to drive, where I got my first job, where I got my second job, where I made almost all of my memories. Living here is all I know.
I didn’t even realize how afraid I was of being deported and how stressed I was about the uncertainty of my time in the United States until DACA became the law and I cried. I’m not ashamed to admit that because DACA changed my life. I no longer had to be afraid. I could finally be optimistic about my future.
On September 5th, 2017 when the Trump administration decided to cancel DACA, all that fear and stress came back to me and I knew that I was not the only one feeling this way. I knew that there were hundreds of thousands of Dreamers just like me that were once again lost.
Dreamers that felt that a country that they know and love, didn’t love them back. That’s when I decided to make the song “For My Immigrants”. I made this song for two reasons. The first was to show every immigrant in the United States that they are not alone in their struggle and that their voice is one that deserves to be heard. The second reason I made the song is to try to fight against the hate, racism and ignorance that appears to be growing in America. I want to educate people so that they could understand our side of the story as well. I want to build an environment where it’s okay to disagree and have differing opinions but through hearing each other out, we are capable of sympathizing with one another.
I’m just a rapper. I do not consider myself an activist by any means and I am not trying to be a role model of any kind. All I want is for this song to have impacted at least one person in a positive way. If I accomplished that, I’m happy.
What do you think?
It's time for a new conversation about immigration in America, and it starts with us.