Monday, June 29, 2009

I am home

In the real world- Meeting Mark

(Mark's Face has been concealed for privacy reasons)

"hey Gabe-o"

"(insert witty reply here)"

And that is how it begins.

The MSN messenger screen fills with our playful banter, jokes, seriousness and then more jokes. There's some "work sucks" talk, music discussions and the occasional DREAM shop talk. The chemistry between people connected via electronic signals is interesting analyze. Mark and I get along well online and there are certainly shared interests, but can this connection be translated in to the real world?

I decided to find out.

Mark agreed to meet up in Gilroy and get some amazing-ness in the form of BBQ ribs. Plans were made a week in advance, and the build up to it was in and of itself, hilarious and intense. "will it be awkward? nothing but silence?"

The day arrived, June 18th 2009. Waiting in the parking lot of the restaurant, i stood there thinking "how insane is it that i am meeting in person with some dood i met online...?" and then Mark showed up.

I can't emphasize the ease with which we both clicked. It was like there had been no transition at all, rather just an extension of our friendship that had already for the most part been established. There was the occasional silence, but in any other circumstance that silence would have been eternal, here it was mostly cause we were eating.

We related stories about our situations, both current and past, and while we learned more about how we both came to be at that restaurant in that particular instance in time. Both of us having been brought from two different sides of the world (Mark hails from the Philippines) only to sit at an American BBQ rib joint, fully Americanized and assimilated, yet not allowed to fully exist .

I realized how interesting it would have been to have met Mark in other circumstance.

After grubbing Mark and I decided to hang out in Monterey. We Talked some more, took some pics and even had a hilarious moment at "lovers Point". Driving back to Mark's house, all doubt about the transition from digital to flesh was erased, and any uneasiness that might have existed before had been dissolved. Mark is a friend for life.

"I say Sir I am Appalled!
How dare you imply i have commited such acts of Illegallity
I say where is your supervisor?"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

San Jose DREAM Act Ceremony

(the Bay Area Dream Coalition)

I had the idea last Thursday. The national DREAM Act effort was going on, ceremonies held all across the nation ,and there was nothing going on in San Jose. So i sent out some emails, asking people to join me in holding such an event here.

I was not sure anything tangible would materialize, and truth be told i figured "this is done on a whim, with less than a week, probably not going to happen."

But with the help of many including (but not limited to) and Mark Silverman and the folks at SAHE, we got this thing off the ground.

In total we had 20 students in the San Jose DREAM class of 2009. We had a turn out of about 50 people and even had some local news papers and Univision come out to support us.

I supposed that's not bad for the first event i ever organized.

I had the chance to meet up with some good folks that i had met before and to make some excellent new connections. This event was a symbol of hope for me and I thank all that participated.


President Obama Speaks out on Immigration

It is only talk so far. but it is the first time that as President, Mr Obama has touched the subject so in depth. Lets hope that this is the first step in what many of us are hoping for.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I dont want to be alone.

I've been going through this, alone, since 18. My family moved, and with them my support group.

The jobs, the fears, the stress, the growing insecurities, the weight. All of it I've had to endure alone. ten years.

Yes, there are friends, acquaintances, people you meet. but with every single one of them i put on a mask. to hide what is going on. The few that know try to be understanding, but it's difficult to understand what one is going through, unless you are in this situation. Then there is the family, my father tries to comfort me with words of hope, my mother with religion, the sisters in their own way. That just makes it harder to feel so weak, and thus it results in another lie.

The strong son. the one who tells them "i know everything will work out". but those words have become meaningless now. just words. I can't tell them how hollow i feel. how scared. how alone i am. Such a thing would break the delicate foundation of hope and strength that allows them to keep going forward. So i push everything deep inside. and i tell everyone i meet. anyone i come in contact with. that it. will. be. ok.

It breaks you, to say that when you dont believe it anymore.

I can no longer connect with people. the emotional attachments i make are fragile, and i easily sever them and move away. it hurts. it hurts too much to have to pretend to be "ok" all the time.

So i've pushed everyone away. keeping them at an arm's length. always on the defense, ready to block any sign of emotional weakness i emit. my bag of tricks: smile. joke. look strong. confident. care free. sure of things. hoping that no one will see through me and call me out on this.

Being two completely different people takes a toll on you.

Enduring this alone, it destroys you from the inside out. until you're nothing but an empty shell.

Recently, i let some one in. i tricked my own mind. i got to thinking about the future. convincing my self that yes things will work out. there will be something. i am not alone anymore. and i was happy. I made the mistake of letting her see the scared me.

But as in everything in my life. things aren't that simple. And so i ask myself, i ask some one something, some force. Why. why would after being alone for such a long time i would find some one only to have to lose them again, being left back in this emptiness.

So what is there left to do but to go back to my shell. to hide once again my emotions, my demons from the world. and to go and put that smile on.

it's not fair. All ive ever wanted in life is a chance. and every chance is just flaunted in my face and then denied, snatched away.

Today I woke with this sick feeling deep inside. "again". the first thought. "smile, look like everything is ok". I don't want to anymore. Im tired of faking it. Im tired of having to pretend to be strong, of smiling and making jokes, when i reality im scared and broken.

Im tired of having to lie. to everyone. I want to just say "hi, yeah im a fucking mess, and this laughter you see, these jokes, this 'confidence' is just a farse. to make you feel like i am ok. But i am not."

In reality i want to release this sorrow with in me. Ironic thing is, i cant for the life of me shed a god damn tear. I can't unload this, it's too deep inside.

Denial. That's what i feel. Who am i kidding. i have NO plan for anything other than today or maybe a week from now. Any reform fails, and once again i will be derailed. Just another blow to the head, just another nail. But look tough. be strong. tell everyone who will listen that everything will be ok and that you are ok.

Well, if anyone is listening, I am not OK.

You win. You've been at it for 20 years, and you broke me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Morning Quick write

Just got in to San Jose from Los Banos. Works at 9. Decided to partake in an exercise that we used to do in my English 1B class.

the sound of the crow outside the window rings in my head. amplified and stretched. smaller birds signing only serve to calm the thoughts of everything that's going on. Love the mornings. the scents and the cool air as it touches my face, shame i can't get up early more often. sleep consumes. controls. regenerates and invigorates. still haven't found a PA system for tomorrow. push it back to the last lump of brain. ill improvise. wheres the crow? still hear the birds, yet the crow ceased to exist. heavy eyes. why is the sun out! i want to sleep. i should get up. productivity, that's what you studied no?

maybe tomorrow. sleep for now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another Anniversary

Some time this month, (not sure the specific date anymore) in 1989 I crossed that line that separated two worlds from me.

June 1989, it was hot, we had spent a few night's in a Tijuana shanty town were the houses where made of cardboard and aluminum sheets. My Tia had lived there for some time and had lent her extra room for us to rent.

I dont remember much about the actual border. We came on a tourist visa, my dad wasnt approved for one. We waited for a long time in a car with my aunt Sonia (whom with i currently live). The last thing i remeber of Mexico, is looking out the back window and waving good bye to my father as he smiled.

I was excited for our trip, for this change.

My father was on the verge of tears, afraid hed never see us again.

Twenty years have flown by. It would be bittersweet to have some resolution this year.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 23rd Mock Graduation

A lot of fellow Undocumented Students and our supporters will be attending the mock graduation in Washington DC. I would be nice to have some show of support or similar events occurring in other cities.

for more info please go to

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CNN and UCLA dreamer

It's encouraging to see so much more media and support for the DREAM Act in this pivotal year. It gives me great hopes to see such momentum.

But as i watched Nancy's story i couldn't help but feel a deep emptiness inside of me, a great sadness filling me slowly. I see so much potential in this young woman, in her peers at UCLA, in the Hurtados at Santa Clara University, in my younger sister, in Cintia from Houston, Ana from Sacramento, Erick, Fernando,Fermin, Gladys, Ju,Karla, Seung,Perna, Mohammed, Gilbert,Juan, Piash, Tam, Eduardo, Mark, Maria, Carlo,Tom. In countless others.

I see their faces.
their hopes.

And it kills me to feel so impotent.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Oakland Supports the DREAM Act

More good endorcements and momentum for DREAM, this from over at

Oakland City Council Approves DREAM Act Resolution

The DREAM Act push came from Vice Mayor Ignacio De La Fue and won unanimous approval.

The report prepared by Ms. Schaff mentioned positive impacts with no negative impacts of the DREAM Act:

I was very excited to hear this news! infact it got my mind working on the idea to network with groups here in San Jose and get our city council and Mayor Reed to follow suit.

My eyes are getting BIG. San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Orlando, DC!

Lets take the first step!


I noticed the following goings on when i was surfing

It came to our attention last week that Representative Joe Baca was re-introducing a bill for immigrant high-school graduates called the PROUD Act or ‘People Resolved to Obtain an Understanding of Democracy Act’ (H.R. 2681).

After studying the 1-page bill, we have to conclude that the PROUD Act is not a viable alternative to the DREAM Act. We welcome a bill that does not have a military provision, benefits young people, and pushes the DREAM Act further to the Left. But what we have here is a more restrictive measure that alienates more students than the DREAM Act and doesn’t provide the necessary protections needed.

First, the age requirements are too restrictive and arbitrary. The PROUD Act would not benefit the scores of talented and hard-working students that have been working on getting legislation benefiting immigrant youth passed for so many years.

Essentially, the bill would only benefit those ‘alien minors’ who have been here from Grade 6 to 12, completed high school with a civics curriculum, and are under the age of 25 when they file their application.

This is interesting in the sense that it does provide a way for citizenship to many undocumented youth, and it rids the military portion.

However what becomes of the undocumented youths who are 26, 27,28,29? those which are more likely to have completed their college education and who it seems get the short end of the stick: been here too long to qualify for the PROUD Act, but not long enough to have applied for the 1986 Amnesty.

The PROUD Act, it seems, would create a group of youth in limbo with in a limbo.

I for one do not support this idea.

Call (202)225-6161, email and thank Joe Baca for introducing the PROUD Act and ask him to cosponsor and support the DREAM Act today.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blogging lessons

For anyone interested in joining the Pro immigrant blogosphere there is a free, yes, free web seminar on effective blogging strategies, tips and such at:

those of you that have blogs it would be an awesome way to polish and refine our blogging skills

Monday, June 1, 2009

An explanation

So I've noticed a pattern lately on this blog. Where immigration and DREAM Act issues are taking a back seat to posts about me that aren't to relevant. For those of you who read this I apologize for the lack of focus.

The past few weeks have been rough for me, and although I try to deal with in in the way I've always done, by using humor and never being serious, sometimes it just gets out of hand. So lately i've been stressing about the lack of action from politicians and DREAM. I know there are countless people busting their asses to advocate for DREAM but it just gives me so much anxiety to see the apathy that politicians have towards moving forward with any sort of immigration reform.

It's always "next year we promise,oooh wait it's an election year hmm the year after that then". The though of having my future in the hands of these people depresses me and so I decided about 3 weeks ago to limit my exposure to immigration related stuff for a while, just to take a break.

But I realize that may not be the best idea, because word about DREAM, about the undocumented narrative about our daily struggles need to be heard, so that if not for me then for my younger sister there is somehope. I realized the best way to continue with the blog is to combine posts of my life with relevancy to the undocumented experience, along with posts about news, actions and efforts.

I know my anxiety doesnt excuse my lack of effort on the blog, but once again i offer my apologies and proceed with my best foot forward