Confused and scared, I pedaled home and confronted Lolo. From the him sitting within the garage, cutting coupons. I dropped my bike and ran up to him, showing him the green card. “Peke ba ito?” I asked in Tagalog. (“Is this fake?”) My grandparents were naturalized American citizens — he worked as a security guard, she as a food server — and additionally they had begun supporting my mother and me financially once I was 3, after my father’s wandering eye and inability to correctly allow for us resulted in my parents’ separation. Lolo was a proud man, and I also saw the shame on his face me he purchased the card, along with other fake documents, for me as he told. “Don’t show it to many other people,” he warned.
I decided then I was an American that I could never give anyone reason to doubt. I convinced myself that if I worked enough, if I achieved enough, i might be rewarded with citizenship. I felt i really could earn it.
I’ve tried. Over the past 14 years, I’ve graduated from senior school and college and built a vocation as a journalist, interviewing a few of the most people that are famous the nation. On top, I’ve created a life that is good. I’ve lived the American dream.
But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And therefore means living a different sorts of reality. It means going about my in fear of being found out day. This means people that are rarely trusting even those closest in my experience, with who i truly am. It indicates keeping my children photos in a shoebox in place of displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t enquire about them. It indicates reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And has now meant relying on sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest within my future and took risks for me. Continue reading