Martha Perez - Define American

Martha Perez

W Hartford, CT

By the time I was six years old, I had crossed the Mexican-American border with my mom two times. After the second crossing, my family and I settled in Danbury, Connecticut. I was born in Puebla, Mexico, and like so many other Central and South Americans in the early 1990’s my parents decided to come to the United States in search of a better life – better paying jobs and educational opportunities for their children.

The issue of our undocumented status did not arise until my mom lost her job as a result of being undocumented and a man posing as an attorney defrauded my parents of $10,000 before filing a false application for political asylum with INS, at the time. It took us ten years to overturn an order of deportation against myself, and other serious consequences that resulted from that false application for asylum for us to obtain permanent residency, and eventually, our American Citizenship. This year, I graduated law school, my extended profile can be found here: http://www.law.uconn.edu/files/GradMag%20Spring.Summer%202011.pdf.

I attended law school because I know, first hand, how it feels to be undocumented, to fear that one’s status will be found out, to fear that one day one may not be able to attend college, or remain in the only country they have ever known to be home, and because I fully support a change in immigration laws. I especially support a change providing young individuals in similar circumstances an opportunity to gain lawful legal status in the United States.

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