Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ironic part 2

Daniel is a blue eyed, blonde, American 21 year old. I have worked with him for 7 months.

His step mother is the Vice President of the company i work for.

He is a nice kid, but also a troubled young man, who doesn't take his job seriously (its his first) and has a lot of growing up to do.

Daniel is moving to Costa Rica, in what he considers a move to solve all his problems. When I asked him how he is going he replied "I am going as a tourist and then going to Nicaragua every 3 months so my visa stays legit."

I asked him how he was going to make a living he paused, a grin on his face he said " I am going to work under the table. Illegally."

Daniel is not aware of my status, but boy....i considered asking him if he wanted to give me his US citizenship.

Young immigrants Have to Grow Up Fast

Great Article from a while back (ran in to it from I am a shadows blog)

The following quote pretty much nails it for me (too):

"What’s different about the stresses facing undocumented immigrants, and what most young people interviewed for this story kept repeating, is the sense that doors that might be opened to help relieve a bit of the stress — education, legalization, a good paying job — are permanently closed. It’s not just that mom and dad can’t be there to lend a helping hand to help pay for college, it’s that the chances of getting a better paying job to save money for school are slim, and even if they manage to graduate, the chances of landing a secure job are still miniscule. This, combined with an uncertain future where deportation is a constant worry, can weigh heavily on a young person and make them feel old beyond their years, they say."

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.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

GIR in February

GIR is gaining momentum. here is the February Update:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You Dont Have an Accent

*****DISCLAIMER: this is a free write*********

The wind is cold. it is 2 am on the 15th. I was just in front of Mina's house chatting with her and gift. Now the red and blue lights are reflected from my rear view mirror. gift is quiet. I am shit scared.

Officer is stone faced. Stern, almost angry look upon him. Gets straight to it.

"Do you have a license?"
"why not"
I cant get one.
a deputy approaches the other window. they ask for ID. We give them our passports.
"step out of the vehicle"
I'm out. fucking cold wind. Officer is behind me. Gift is in the car being questioned by the deputy.

The officer puts me against the hood of his patrol car. Bright search light in my face. He takes my hands and asks me to put them behind my back.

a fucking criminal.

He pats me down. "do you have any drugs on you?" takes out my wallet, keys everything.
No. Of course not.

Looks at my passport. "are you illegal?"My anger rises.

I am undocumented.

"you dont have an accent"
Ive been here a long time.
"why dont you have a license?"
I cant get one, the laws are messed up. I was brought as a small child. I give him DREAMers 101 in a nutshell.
yeah. i even have a bachelors
"where did you go to school"
San Jose State.
More feigned interest.
"Wait out here with your hands on the hood"
yes officer

The deputy takes gift out of my car. The officer is going through my passport. deputy takes gift to the back of the patrol car, starts to put him in. "no, put him in the front" says the other.

I cant look at gift. Im fucking scared. I look down. The deputy is going through my car, desperately looking for drugs. I thank the stars i'm a square. My mind runs. is this a 287g city, fuck. i dont have my cell phone with all my numbers. fuck what if they take us in. fuck who do i call. my parents dont have any of my contact's numbers. fuck. fuck. fuck.

I see flashes of 2007. this is worse. We're outside. hands behind our backs. car is searched. wind is freezing. the deputy tries to open my trunk

the key doesnt work. you have to pop it from the front.

She struggles. She is looking hard for drugs. The other officer is looking through his computer, probably running the plates. Mine have a license plate cover, "Alumni San Jose State".

what if they take my car away, what if they take us in. What if. My mind then goes blank. and i think. so what. if they take me in and they take me into detention then fine. it will be over. and i wont have to struggle with this. No.

I find myself suddenly praying. Hypocrite.

Thirty minutes. Then we get our passports back. We ask if we can put them in our pockets

please master. yest master. ok master.

Deputy says yes. we can go.

Yes officer. I walk to his window.
" I should take your car and arrest you. But im going to let you go because you seem like a decent guy"
Thanks Officer. I really appreciate ( how you profiled me, searched my car, insulted me and treated me like a criminal) it.

A decent guy. wow

" try to get your license"
I am trying to actively change the laws which prevent me from being able to participate in society. I am working with other organizers to do this so we can all have IDs and licenses. Thanks again officer, i appreciate it.

They leave. We get in the car. shaken as hell. quiet for a few seconds as the fear lingers.

then we drive back to Mina's house.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

No Taxation With Out Representation

Once again this "illegal" Immigrant has paid taxes.

Yes sir, just filed my tax forms. I saw how much money went to federal taxes, Social Security taxes and State Income taxes. Money that I wont get to see, since i don't have a social security number.

lets not forget the sales taxes that i paid on filling up my car this morning, or when i bought groceries last night. The whole myth of undocumented immigrants no paying taxes is so dis-proven that i wont even go there. Ill just let my paid taxes do the talking.

It's Ironic though, that my hard work is funding the Social Security Administration so that retired people such as "Brittanicus" (an online anti immigrant troll) can say how much i deserve to be kicked out of this country.

I wonder if the Tea baggers...erm i mean Tea Partiers will let me join in their "anti tax" movement jajaja

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lost in Los Angeles

Thanks to Nando, Lizbeth, Eric, Mina, Gladys and all the socal people

Friday, February 12, 2010

Road Trip

I got on an airplane and flew to Houston, Texas last year. It was an experience full of growth. I felt like an adult for the first time in my "adult" life.

Tomorrow I am driving to Los Angeles. By myself.

I've always wanted to take this trip, since driving is cathartic for me, and after being in one place for 20+ years changing my surroundings (even if it is LA) for a while is soothing.. But i have been scared up to this point.

That is what it is all about now though.

No longer being scared.

See ya in LA

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Truth About Superman

Look up in the sky its a bird! No its a plane! No its..its... Illegal Alien.

To the shock of the world we've learned that after more than seven decades of saving hard-working Americans, we have all been lied to.One of our most beloved superheroes, Superman, is nothing more than an illegal alien.

Otherwise know by his Kryptonian name as Kal-el, Superman has been living in the United States illegally for over seven decades and has been leading a double life the whole time.

Originally from the planet Krypton, The Man of Steel crash landed in Kansas sometime around 1938, and was "adopted" by Martha and Jonathan Kent, who named him Clark. There are no legal records of this adoption. There are absolutely no records of a Clark Kent other than his Daily Planet bylines and desk tag.

No fingerprints on file, no green card, no social security number, no driver's license under a Clark Kent.

This begs the question who exactly is Clark Kent?

Stocky, balding and with a mid-western accent Clark H. Kent leans on his Ford truck as he says how many calls he's received at his Minnesota home from credit card companies requesting payment for "overdue hotel stays in Cairo, Paris,'s ridiculous, I can't for the life of me convince them that I've never left the country."

But Superman is not only guilty of committing identity theft, he has also obtained a free education from Metropolis U. , taking away a seat for an otherwise qualified American citizen. This illegal alien has had a free ride at the cost of the American tax payer.

"We had no idea that Mr. Kal-El was an illegal," says Metropolis U's Dean of Admissions. "We always though he was a regular all-American linebacker. Without him we wouldn't have gone to state. What a shame..."

Aside from getting a free education, Old Blue Eyes has been scamming the system by working illegally at the Daily Planet, where this reporter used to work before he was laid off. There is no record of Mr Kent paying taxes.

"This is disgusting!" popular TV show host Glenn Beck says of this new revelation. "He should be locked up in a a detention center made of kryptonite! Here we have so many hard-working American superheroes, such as Batman, Spider-Man and non other than Captain America, and we have this illegal alien taking their is appalling."

Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America could not be reached for comment, however it should be noted that Spider-Man is of Polish decent, Batman has Italian immigrant parents and Captain America was born in Australia and only recently became a naturalized citizen.

"I've been right about this all along," said arch nemesis Lex Luthor, of Luthor Corp. "For years I've been fighting this invasion that is destroying our country." Mr. Luthor is currently working on his book Fighting Illegal Aliens.

Once a symbol of freedom and all that was good in America, Superman has become nothing more than a lie fabricated by an illegal alien living off the fruit of hard-working Americans.

We have been fooled America.