Doris Lopez - Define American

Doris Lopez

Wysox, PA

I came from Nicaragua when I was 18. I was an international student at a community college. I was an honors student, member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. In my Sophomore year, I got pregnant. I had complications during my pregnancy.

This is when I faced the hardest decision in my life: my visa or my baby’s and my life. I had to drop out of college. I wasn’t able to go back because my family turned their backs on me, I couldn’t get a job, and my husband (who is also undocumented) had been laid off from his job due to the 2008 recession.

I wanted to give my baby the best possible shot at life, so I overstayed my visa. I am undocumented since 2009. Today, 5 years later, I have 3 children. We don’t take anything from the government. No foodstamps, no medicaid, no walfare at all. My school age child goes to private school. We pay federal, state, and local taxes every year. Every day I dream when I’ll wake up and not worry. That day when I won’t worry about deportation.

All I want is to be able to live in peace, not scared.

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