Monday, October 19, 2009


Im stepping away for a while. I hope to have had some relevance in the posts i made. But enough has been said for now.

I'll be back.

Thanks for the support to all.

- Gabriel an Undocumented American Youth.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The reason behind the Hermitage:

Jan. 2007 - Dinner at Pasta Pomodoro. time unknown.

"....i am undocumented"

she looks uncomfortable. Fiddles with her food. mutters "oh" with out looking at me.

1.5 years fizzle before me and she disappears in front of my eyes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Current Events

Just a summary of the weeks happenings:

Some say that tuesday the 13th is bad luck. Maybe. I used to be much more superstitious than i am now. It rained on tuesday all day. I woke up with a fever. thought "damn i should have gotten the flu shot". My single wisdom tooth was rocking the entire left side of my face. had to call in sick for work. Went back to sleep. Later that morning, i got up and with some dayquil and coffee worked on some much needed homework assignments. reading chapters on TCP/IP while organizing a phone conference call. call went ok, regardless. impulsive night.

Wesneday was not so good. Not enough sleep. Not enough restraint. Not enough peace.

Thursday was the anxiety attack. But with a bike ride, some stress was released. Went to the SCU Napolitano demonstratoin, were i ran into my buddy Ju. Met up with an activist friend and her group and marched. The adrenaline ran high. Left the action early to go to a midterm, which turned out to be canceled. met up with another activist and had coffee with her. Got home late and read Thoreau's "Life Without Principle" for the hundredth time. sleep

Friday after work i went to walmart, and found an LED rear bike light and a small biking backpack for my water bottles. Found my way to a Pollo Loco (where i once applied for a job) and once done got to the apartment. changed and got on the bike. It was a bike party friday. went alone but ran into someone i knew and rode with him and his buddies. 30 miles, 4 hours, 4000 riders. epic. walked around downtown. 3 am lights out

Saturday. not much going on. its been hot. Dreamactivist conference call, call with Ana about petition, movie with the sister, and a long walk. Now its time for bed

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Surreal World

I could not take it anymore. The pressure had built up through out the weeks, months, years. I sat at work, staring at the broken laptops in front of me. Hardware and screws and the automatic screwdriver spread out on the bench.

The flood gates were opened this year. All that raw emotion that had been suppressed is now pushing back, clamoring to be heard, to be let out into the light of day. To be acknowledged.

I kept thinking about how surreal it all is. It’d been tossing and turning in my head. I don’t feel any different, I don’t look very much different, and yet. After how many years does one cease to become a foreigner?

Then it starts, the parade of stories I’ve come to hear. Ed studying to work in the medical field is a line cook. Cintia with her two science degrees works at a pizza joint. Fernando, with a degree in music is a bus boy. Mina a with psychology degree that cant work other than fast food. Ju’s sister, who dropped out and works two restaurant jobs so that her brother can go to college. Gladys a high school senior who is top of her class and fears she won’t be able to go further. Mark. Maria. Kemi. Gina, Phiash. Herta, Aldo, Mohammed, Miguel, Fermin, Carlo, Gilbert, Beleza, Emmanuel, Seung, Claudia, Jose, Ana, Alejandra, Prena, Erik, Daniel. Gabriel, an engineer, who fixes laptops, wraps pallets and makes boxes. And it does not end.

It was too much. My trance was broken by the sounds of my supervisor speaking Mandarin to another employee. Chest heaving, hands with screws and tools, the sound of the trucks at the loading dock, fluorescent lights, beeps, smell of wet cardboard making its way into my nostrils, the ringing phones. It’s too much. It’s not real is it?

11:22am. I got up. Headed for the exit and walked out. The gray day greeted me.

I don’t know what I am going to do. I will probably be back to work tomorrow. Maybe I won’t. Don’t know if I’ll have the job. I really don’t care. I just wanted some air. Some time to re-think this fucked up reality.

Faithfully Remain

"how long can you pray? and still not see a change? I...I....faithfully remain"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Get in line. then wait 30 more years

My parents filed a family petition, in which my Aunt, the sister of my father, and a US citizen was sponsoring my father. My mother is being petitioned by her brother. Both included me and Gina in the petition as derivatives. this was in 2001. I was 19. Gina 13. We recently were told that the application would probably be done in 3-4 years. maybe sooner.

Which means it took, 12 years to process. which means Gina and I turned 21. in 2002 the Child Status Protection Act was passed. Here's some info on it:

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was signed into law on August 6, 2002. CSPA was enacted to address the problem of minor children losing their eligibility for immigration benefits because they had aged-out or turned 21 years old as a result of processing delays on the part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the Department of State. US embassy

There had been on ongoing Class action lawsuit, stating that the government was not following the CSPA laws by maintaining my application age of 19.

Today, I got this news:

A federal judge has ruled that adult children who turn 21 while waiting for family-sponsored green cards have to wait anew once they "age out" of their parents' applications.

U.S. District Judge James Selna ruled in Los Angeles against a group of immigrants with green cards who sued the federal government, arguing a 2002 law means grown children should be allowed into the country when their parents file new paperwork on their behalf.

Friday's final ruling means the plaintiffs' children who became adults while waiting for processing must start the application process from the beginning. - Washington Post

So. My parents got in the famous line. My sister and I got in line with them. The government took 12 years to process our applications. We passed the golden age of 21. And now we find out that, nope. Get in the BACK of the line again, and wait. wait for another 13, heck 18, no 20 years.

Thanks for the ruling.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Signs of (Slow) Progress.

The Obama Administration's approach to immigration reform have been lacking, to say the least. Yet in these few weeks there have been a few glimmers of progress. For example DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that there would be changes in the way that non criminal immigrant detainees would be held. New idea: using renovated hotels and nursing homes (anyone else find the irony amusing? immigrants detained in hotels where they used to work).

According to Ms. Napolitano,

“Serious felons deserve to be in the prison model,” Ms. Napolitano said, “but there are others. There are women. There are children.”

These and other nonviolent people should be sorted and detained or supervised in ways appropriate to their level of danger or flight risk, she said. Her goal, she said, is “to make immigration detention more cohesive, accountable and relevant to the entire spectrum of detainees we are dealing with.” NY times

Then there was the somewhat good news that Mr. Arpiao himself would be stripped of his 287g powers, and could no longer conduct his brown immigrant witch hunt. I say this is some what good because in all honesty the man should be behind bars, wearing the very same demeaning uniforms that he forced many to wear. He should not only have had his "wings clipped" as the NY Times puts it, but rather he should have been removed from his post. Why? well judging by the following excerpt, the fact that the Federal Government told him he no longer has this power means absolutly nothing to a Patriot like Arpiao:

Either way, he and his supporters vowed to press on.

Andrew Thomas, the county attorney, appeared with Mr. Arpaio to voice his support and condemn the “setback in the fight against illegal immigration.” Mr. Thomas said, “The fight goes on.”

He and Mr. Arpaio suggested that deputies could use the state anti-human smuggling law to make stops and refer suspected illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, though it was not clear whether the agency would take them.

If not, the sheriff said, “I’ll take a little trip to the border and turn them over to the border.” NY times

Last but not least was the announcement that The National Association of Evangelicals came out in support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

The National Association of Evangelicals' resolution, passed unanimously by the group's board of directors, recommends that immigration laws provide a path for the undocumented to eventually gain legal status, place a high priority on reuniting families and reduce backlogs of petitions in those areas. AP

It was but two years ago that I heard an evangelical Priest ask God to "protect us from these foreing invaders". Yes because God hates Immigrants. This from the National Catholic Reporter:

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, commended the NAE for passing the resolution . "At the end of the day, immigration reform is an issue of justice firmly grounded on biblical truth," he said. -NCR

Some one should send the memo the the other Evangelical Priest and let him know religion now needs these "foreign invaders" too.

Oh! And soon (tuesday the 13th) Representative Luis Gutierrez and Congressional Hispanic Leaders, will present the outlines for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that will be introduced.

Rep. Gutierrez. "Saying immigration is a priority for this Administration or this Congress is not the same as seeing tangible action, and the longer we wait, the more every single piece of legislation we debate will be obstructed by our failure to pass comprehensive reform." -

These are only small steps. However they are welcomed ones.

Bread and Butter

I took a week off the internet to clear my mind off immigration stuff. The constant flow of information and the ease of access is scary. (side note: I read an article about a man who was homeless due to an internet addiction wow). A lot of things have been occurring just in the past week. Health care reform has been a bottle neck in our legislative agenda here in the USA, but that is slowly grinding down and activists for all sorts of movements are aching to get their cause taken up next. Immigration is no exception.

Now that my webcation is over, its been busy.

Met up with the Vice president of the Foothill College Latino club to talk about promoting the DREAM Act and organizing workshops. Participated in 2 conference calls this past week, and going to moderate another one on Tuesday. Thursday we are organizing a Mock Graduation at Santa Clara University, where the head of the DHS, Janet Napolitano, will be holding a forum. Trying to get some work done for as well as thinking about next weeks post and how to be a bit more formal when i post on dreamactivist. Looking forward to the movement getting organized soon.

A lot is going on. But much more is on the line.

Oh Canon I love you

Finally got my Canon Powershot back from the Canon repair facility. I dont have a camera phone, so this is how i document what i see. Ive been aching to practice (since i cant afford film right now) with different settings and changing F-stops. Plus Bike party is this coming Friday and now i want to take pictures of my own.

Oh Canon repair man. I could kiss you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finally. some (not all of it) but some signs of sanity

The New York times headline reads "Immigration Hard-Liner Has His Wings Clipped", I don't know that "immigration hard-liner" properly describes Arpaio, personally i think racist bigot is more suitable. However I'll look past that because as the NY times reports " federal officials had taken away his deputies’ authority to make immigration arrests in the field."

Mr. Arpaio's reaction was as expected:

That prompted an angry, rambling outburst from the sheriff Tuesday at a news conference at which he called Homeland Security officials “liars” and vowed to press on with his campaign, using state laws, against illegal immigrants. He said he would drive those caught on the streets to the border if federal officers refused to take them into custody.

Kind of like a kid throwing a tantrum. "If you wont give me what i want ill do it my way...wah wah."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dinner with old friends


Mr. Li tomorrow is my last day. his face grew serious. "what?" yeah. I got another job and they need me to start tomorrow. sorry.

And with that i left the warehouse where i had worked since 2003. from ages 21-25. The man had become a pseudo surrogate father figure (if that makes sense). But i was fed up. day in day out the same routine. it was mundane. and my work went unrecognized.

August 2007 was nothing but fear, guilt and anxiety. I quit my job. Idiot. now where to work? Goddamn impulsiveness. I graduate in four months. i need money.

I spent the month looking for work. frugality at its best. i applied at restaurants, bars, car washes anything.

Finally, one day while eating at burger king, i asked the manager if they were hiring. "yes" . application filled. hired on the spot.

I worked in that burger king four months. In the beginning it was 10 hour days. then school started and it went down to 8.

I ate dinner there tonight. Memories came and said hello like old friends:

The 4pm rushes, the dinner crowd, the constant flow of cars in the drive thru, mopping the lobby at midnight, cleaning the bathrooms and counting the money in my till. I remember some of the people. Don Carlos, Maria. While some i only recall their faces.

Four months that flew by.

Please Meet Ed

This month, I want you to meet Ed from Las Vegas. His story is very Unique and Inspiring. I asked him to put it in his own words:

" I came to America at a very young age. Being from a third world country, everything I experienced in America; I was overjoyed. There were so many different cultures coming into one place. It was all new to me. I studied hard and got good grades throughout high school. I found interest in film, sports, writing, poetry and music. Although what I failed to realize was how severe my undocumented status was. This led me to being interested in the process of our government. In a way I was disappointed in myself, here I was an undocumented student, being in the country for almost 19 years.

It wasn’t until my 12th year in an America; a sophomore in high school, did I even begin to show interest in my status. As a kid, I always thought it would get taken care of. I guess it was normal, for kids to feel that way. Most of us have parents or someone who will always be there through our adolescence. That was always the case with me. Although, I was always a kid that was fine with being on my own and breaking away from the high school stereotype. This was due to the fact, that I was already anticipating my life after high school and how it would differ from the rest of my peers. As negative as my situation is, one of the most positive things to come out of it was my general perception of life. I no longer cared about the materialistic things in life or what people wore or what they did. Did I care about if my clothes were better than theirs? Not really, I just cared on trying to better myself. It has been a long struggle and a lot of disappointment after high school.

I am now more focused on getting a degree in the medical field. While working at a local restaurant as a cook, to make sure I pay for my tuition and monthly expenses. It is a hard task, especially when I have to wake up two and a half hours before work just so I can catch the bus.

Gabe asked me why I rock? My answer is; I don’t rock, unless if it’s with others. In the same sense of a band, passing the Dream Act is a group effort and we need every single person to participate and show passion for it.

John Lennon once said ““A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

Throughout high school, I always had the passion for writing poetry. It was nothing along the lines of Shakespeare or even Edgar Allen Poe. As I am sure I will never be as a great as them, but I would say a little more contemporary, and more so like a song, as I was always obsessed with having my poems rhyme. I consider it creative writing that rhymes with unconventional sentence structure. Here is a poem written by me and how I have been feeling about being undocumented.

As I stare into space/

A name with no face/

A place, I want to call home/

Something, anything, I don’t want to be alone/

The world that I live in, is what I didn’t expect/

But I take it in stride, focus on what’s next/

Perplexed, on why I’ve been underachieving/

Because if you look at my past, you wouldn’t believe it/

That’s not an arrogant statement, it’s a picture I paint/

A stroke from my canvas, an artist disdained/

Every day I wake up, working minimum wage/,

I put a smile on my face, minimum dismay/

Being cautious, living life in the shallow/

A person in the back, just a mere shadow/

I could of gone many places, complacent/

But I’m left with a feeling so vacant/

It’s like playing catch-up, but suddenly my heart beats slow/

Everything’s flashing by, disappointment replaces ego/

I just want to succeed, I told god this/

Don’t place the burden on me, I am not it/

He probably thought I was strong enough to push through/

If I am, please just give me a clue/

I am at a loss for words, and everybody else wins/

I’m a patient man, but damn, it’s running real thin/

Despite the fact, I’ve been kicked and pushed/

Got off my back, with the will to move/

It’s ok to cuss and scream, “I’ve had it”/

I only look to progress, trying to kick the habit/

It’s crazy, this life we live/

How you can turn to negative to positive/

Through the anger and being depressed/

Made great friends in the same situation, that I would never second guess/

So if my light at the end of the tunnel is a little late/

I guess I can I blame it on one thing; Fate/ "