F. Soto - Define American
Warning: file_get_contents(https://s3.amazonaws.com/i-src.defineamerican.com/prev/story/0803.JPG): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /home/347044.cloudwaysapps.com/qcuqwgtvch/public_html/web/app/plugins/ilab-media-tools/helpers/ilab-media-tool-wordpress-helpers.php on line 28

Warning: file_get_contents(https://s3.amazonaws.com/i-src.defineamerican.com/prev/story/0803.JPG): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /home/347044.cloudwaysapps.com/qcuqwgtvch/public_html/web/app/plugins/ilab-media-tools/helpers/ilab-media-tool-wordpress-helpers.php on line 28

Warning: file_get_contents(https://s3.amazonaws.com/i-src.defineamerican.com/prev/story/0803.JPG): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /home/347044.cloudwaysapps.com/qcuqwgtvch/public_html/web/app/plugins/ilab-media-tools/helpers/ilab-media-tool-wordpress-helpers.php on line 28

Warning: file_get_contents(https://s3.amazonaws.com/i-src.defineamerican.com/prev/story/0803.JPG): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /home/347044.cloudwaysapps.com/qcuqwgtvch/public_html/web/app/plugins/ilab-media-tools/helpers/ilab-media-tool-wordpress-helpers.php on line 28

F. Soto

Paramount, CA

The world belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams (Roosevelt); this is a quote that has inspired me through many years of being of being target with discrimination and judgment. 140,000 illegal immigrants in this country are enrolled in college (Emmanuel). I was born in Mexico but raised in the United States, my father brought me to the U.S. at the age of nine and I have lived here since, I have lived in the shadows for many years until a new immigration Policy was approved this year called, “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”, from that point on, my life and the life of millions was forever changed. With this new policy I broke free from my dad’s past actions. Even though this experience has marked me for life, I am able to see how my past experiences have awakened the fighter in me, it has brought me out from the shadows, and it will benefit me in my future to help others. At age of thirteen after my father disappeared from our lives, I had to transform myself from being a thirteen-year-old kid to a boy that needed to grow up and mature fast in order to help with the house expenses. The fighting warrior had awakened in me. My mother, a stay at home wife did not possess any skills; she had never cooperated in any financial way. There were days when we had no idea if we were going to have food on our plate. It was then, when I tried looking for jobs, being undocumented became a haunting experience. Because of my parents actions I have not been allowed to drive, work, travel, vote and so on. In addition, the day I graduated from high school was the day my dreams and goals were shut down because I was not able to seek a higher education. An outcast to society is what I was, not able to continue my education. I have worked as a dishwasher, construction, waiter and many more other labor/low paying jobs, I felt like the new and modern “slave” in America. The simple pleasure of driving with a license was denied which made me live in constant fear of being stopped by the cops. I have been denied loans, credit cards, even renting a movie, either because I didn’t have a California ID or a Social Security. I have also been denied the grand privilege of volunteering. I felt confused about where I belonged; I was in a country that didn’t want me; yet, it was the only country I could call home. I felt trapped in time, like if the world had forgotten about me. Stuck in the same job and the same routine every day because an undocumented immigrant has very limited resources and choices. Although, I was undocumented I knew that something big was waiting for me and I never lost hope for a positive change in my life. When I first heard the news talking about Deferred Action Policy I remember thinking to myself that it was just then one of many promises, ones I confirmed that the differed action for childhood arrivals was actually a fact my heart skipped a beat; August 15th, 2012 became a historical day in my life. I remember the feeling, I couldn’t stop smiling, I was high on happiness. I had waited thirteen years for this day to come. I for hours, the smile in my face was priceless. I was finally going to break free from my dad’s chains, break free to fly, free to live the life I always wanted to live, not the life I was forced to live. My parent’s decisions will no longer hunt me. It’s such a wonderful feeling to say, “I have rights.” I no longer live in fear I am able to drive, work, volunteer, even just walk to a police officer and not feel intimidated. I need to step on the “gas pedal” as hard as I can to catch up to where I am suppose to be in life. I have awakened from the dead. Do to all of the misfortunes I have been exposed to in life and the precious time I have lost being in the shadows, I feel now is the time for me to shine and help others; especially, mistreated/neglected elderly and children. In order for me to help the ones in need I know I must finish school, which I am determined to do at any cost. I have this passion to help those who are needy as I have a lot to relate with them. My future has changed thanks to the new Deferred Action Policy. For once in my life I have hope for the future. I can’t wait to start changing people’s lives. I am not exactly sure what I want to do in life, but I am certain that it will involve helping those in need. Regardless of the situation I was in, I always kept my head up high because I knew it wasn’t my fault to be in the situation I was in. I always hoped for my life to ameliorate in order for me to start living “The American Dream” I always considered myself an American because this is the only country I have ever known as home. I am a living proof that this policy will not only chance my life but the life of many other students who have lived in the shadows despite being contributing civilized individuals into this society. I have a lot of catching up to-do, I was always too busy trying to survive that I have missed out on love, friends, school, and even just living life one day at a time. I believe that many things that have occurred in my past have made me into the great human and fighting warrior I am today. Thanks to the Deferred Action Policy I can say I have the chance to start a new beginning, leave the past being and accomplish the many goals and dreams I have set for myself.

Let's Talk

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

More Stories

Natalie Tankersley: #HomeIsHere

Maryville, TN

Natalie Tankersley: #HomeIsHere

Yoshua Martinez Gomez: #HomeIsHere

Maryville, TN

Yoshua Martinez Gomez: #HomeIsHere

Malcolm Neale: #HomeIsHere

Cleveland, OH

Malcolm Neale: #HomeIsHere

Frida Aguilera de la Torre: #HomeIsHere

Lincoln, NE

Frida Aguilera de la Torre: #HomeIsHere

Desiree Castorena: #HomeIsHere

Lubbock, TX

Desiree Castorena: #HomeIsHere