I legally came to the US 13 years ago with my husband, who was transferred here to work as a software engineer when Silicon Valley did not have enough skilled workers to attend demand. We brought with us our 3 year-old son, and later had another son, who was born here.
Because we have always been here working for big companies, getting our Green Cards and later the US nationality was pretty easy. Nevertheless, I see no difference between my story and those of people who came to this country without visas but who have since then been a positive part of this society, of their communities – people who work and pay taxes, who struggle for a better life for their children. I see no distinction between the “documented me” and the “undocumented others”, in the same way as I see no difference between my two sons, one born aboard and the other born in the US.
Are they different just because they happened to be born in two different countries? Do they have different rights? Do they love this place differently? Do they deserve to be treated differently? I understand this is a very complex topic and I do not support an “open door” policy for the US, but I do believe that we cannot punish the people who are already here, especially the children, for had chosen this country to call home. Marginalization is not the answer; it will be, instead, the shame of a country that had always taken pride in being a “melting pot”.