From Undocumented to Documented…..What Does this Mean Now?
So I’m just writing down some thoughts as to the news I just received a few minutes ago today. For anyone that knows me personally and is close…..it’s not hidden that I have been an undocumented immigrant for most of my time in the U.S. (If you didn’t know that well….SURPRISE!!)But just today I received the news that both me and my Mom, after almost a 20 year wait (mostly on her part) just had our applications approved my immigration and basically will be receiving our greencards very shortly! Now this is much cause for celebration, I’m super excited and happy for this, but I can’t help but to think…”why?” I mean there are abvious reasons as to why I am and should be happy about this news. But it’s basically because I now have “permission” to do things that most every other person that I know was able to do just for the mere fact that they were born in the U.S. I (more specifically my Mom) had to pretty much fight tooth and nail for us both to be rejoicing at this moment. Now this is not to say I’m ungrateful in any sense, but it really makes me think as to why THIS is the way things had to be?I came to the U.S in 1998, I wasn’t born here but was raised here. I consider myself as much “American” as any other person (Now I got some issues to pick with that term btw….I’ll adress that in another note, but Geographically speaking North and South America are one land mass and anyone born in both those areas are AMERICAN) and I didn’t really realize I was different until I got to my Highschool years. I had always been told that I was “undocumented”, My mom never hid that fact from me, But I didn’t really knew exactly what that meant….not until HighSchool. I saw that all my friends were getting drivers licences, and I couldn’t, everyone was filing applications to go to college and I couldn’t, everyone was getting jobs and I couldn’t (mind you I certainly didn’t mind not having to work at that age hehe.) It really hit me that I was not the same as all my friends, and that got to me….I had basically grown up with the idea and hope of the “American Dream” and in an instant, It was gone….in fact I never truly had it.
So now lets fast-forward to today, I’m now a 20 year old man, have managed to get a job, planning to get a drivers licence (even If I dread going to the DMV, guess I’m not so different after all) and just found out that I’m now getting my Greencard, meaning I’ll now be able to travel freely in and out of the country. I’ll be able to go back and visit my home country of Colombia and see my family that’s there that I haven’t seen since ’98……But what has changed? Other than the fact that I have certain things in my possesion…..I’m still the same old person I was back then right? I haven’t transformed into a new man….I’m still the same old video game lovin, tech geek, salsa dancing Shakira obsessed guy I’ve always been. I guess this is the point I’m trying to make, just because I now have “papers” hasn’t changed me as a person, I’m still the same ol’ guy……So is it really fair that I’ll now be treated differently? That I’ll now be perceived as more of a person than the rest of my people who don’t have these “papers”? Personally I don’t think so, a piece of paper shouldn’t validate my existance in this country, just as much as my skin color, gender, orientation etc define my existance. Mind you those are things that make me who I am, but not one of them should be used to define if I should be treated the same as others. I guess to drive the point home, I feel as though a piece of paper shouldn’t make me more of a person than someone who doesn’t have that….how much sense does that make? Should me being tall make me better than people who are short? Should having a Wii make me more or less of a person than another who has an Xbox or PS3? Just think about it, it’s just a piece of paper…..why should it matter if I have it or not?
Just some thoughts