Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Reason Why

The very first thing my parents told me when we came to this country was " do not tell anyone about how we came, and that we have no papers." It was taboo. forbidden to discuss it with anyone. At seven years old, this order instilled a fear with in me about telling others that i was undocumented. It made me feel ashamed, guilty, scared, and less.

Up until 2008 I had only disclosed my status to my very closes friends. Friends that i had known for more than ten years. Friends that no matter what i could count on. Other than them, everyone else saw me as a normal US citizen working his was through college.

But the burden of having this secret still laid heavy on my conscience. A gripping fear drove me to cover up my tracks, and to create elaborate stories on why i didn't have ID, or get school loans. At one point some of my friends thought i was a bad ass for driving with out a license, because i had told them i had gotten arrested when i was younger and couldn't get my license until i turned 21.

Yet living that double life is unsustainable. It lets the situation define me, more so than it should. It makes me feel ashamed, and I should not have to feel that way.

So i decided to start telling people I know, from some of my other closest friends to even acquaintances, about my status. Why? because it empowers me, it allows me to define my situation in a way that I want.

The majority of people are supportive when they find out. Most of them are astounded and dumbstruck. For example my room mate, who learned of my situation a while before we moved in, has been there for me in some of the times when i get real down. " focus on something productive asshole, and don't let what you can't control consume you. Change what you can control", he cuts me no slack, and i appreciate that.

Only in one instance have i had one terrible experience when telling some one my status, this was prior to 2008, and it scarred me and wounded me deeply. Yet I learned from it.

And so I decided to write. At first it was therapeutic, cathartic and soothing to let out what i have held deep in side for so long.

130+ posts later it still is about healing, but it has also become about information. In telling others my reality i found how much confusion there really about the undocumented population. The stereotypes and myths are really ingrained into peoples minds.

So I write this blog, my random rants, my inconsistent themes, my fears and worries. I write so that others can "see" the reality of one undocumented man. By no means am I qualified to represent the entire complex spectrum that is the undocumented community.

But if by sharing my life, my situation, my narrative, some one out there sits down and rethinks their ideas about undocumented immigrants, then I consider that I may have made a slight difference.

And that too is healing.


  1. Keep on writing I enjoy your narrative voice. The situation many undocumented student face is not something their parents or peers will understand because simply they are stuck between two walls.I am sure someone out there has sat down and realize that no matter how bad some days are being undocumented does not define you.With that I say keep on sharing your point of view and hopefully in the future everything will change for the best...

  2. nice.

    i don't think we will ever "heal" from this. even if someday we become citizens from this good old country, a part of us will still have a bit of that hurt with us.

  3. Thank you for this post and all of your entries. I think they are more important then you might sometimes think. Recently another friend of mine who lives in LA in a similar situation began to record his feelings and those of others in an effort to make their voices heard. It is important to hear your voice and for you to make yourself heard. I went to a 'taller' here in Oaxaca a couple of weeks ago where we discussed ways of bringing about change and during the discussion we found that it is not always numbers that can help change things but how you organize, what actions you take to begin to erode the system. This blog is your 'granito de arena' to immigration reform... It is important.