My name is Alma and I.M. Beyond Borders. Since I arrived to California when I was two years old, I never allowed my status to define my success. Even during college winning the largest private transfer scholarship (Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship), I collected brochures to study abroad in Thailand, England, and South America just to peek at what I thought was impossible. I absorbed my classmate’s study abroad stories as if they were my own, but it all changed when Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) gave me a SSN, DL, education, a job, hope, and the list goes on. Advance parole allowed me to see the world. I didn’t see my ill grandfather in Mexico, but I at least got an amazing experience in El Salvador. However, I still feel chains limiting my movement. Check out my story to be informed at what DACA has given me and how I’m going to fight just like my mother fought when she brought me to this country. #ISupportAlma #ISupportDACA #IMBeyondBorders.
I always remember the stories my mother would tell me and my sibling of how she managed to cross to 'El Otro Lado'. She would tell us how from 1992-1993 she made about five attempts to cross the California border with three toddlers. How during those unsuccessful attempts, she was detained by a border patrol, held for a day, and advised to not continue risking the lives of her children. How that one time a border patrol agent gave her and her children their very first snickers. How she would be left behind by the group because she had crying children who were hungry, cold, and tired. Or when she would sleep on the floor, she would pile us like 'taquaches' on her stomach so only she would be exposed to the bites of the 'alacranes' and insects. I was only two years old when she decided to take the long journey from Michoacán, Mexico to Farmersville, California. It was her mission to reunite with our father and flee poverty in Mexico. It was a journey many have attempted, but not everyone is fortunate to reach their destination. In 1993 she made it to this very foreign land, which I now call my permanent home.
As I got older, I came to learn about what it meant to be undocumented in this country and its limitations. At a young age, I did not fully understand it, but my first trial started when I began to work as a farm worker to support my family. First, it meant that I could not apply for “normal” job positions, not even at places like McDonald's. Second, I was unable to obtain a driver’s license or California ID. Third, access to higher education for undocumented students was very limited. Fourth, if I ever left the U.S I was never able to come back...
My name is Edy and I.M. Beyond Borders. From the streets of Chicago, I created a band called Quinto Imperio because music was the tool that made me free. It became a safe space for a few neighborhood friends and my family to express our immigrant roots. With advance parole, I recently returned from Mexico City where I finally saw my grandmother and she made me feel stronger than ever. Community, understand that DACA wasn’t given to us. It was obtained thanks to a national effort of community organizers, activists, allies, etc. So, if this was taken away, we can’t just panic and cry, we have to get involved and join the movement to defend our rights. I urge you to find something that gives you strength like music and my grandmother did and fight for your rights. Check out how I did. #ISupportEddy #ISupportDACA
I was fifteen years old when I arrived to Chicago. What was supposed to be a holiday visit to my family already living in the U.S. for about three years, soon became one of the most difficult challenges I’ve had to encounter. First of all, my parents had just separated. As the older brother of two (one who was six and the other who was ten), I understood they needed me and I definitely needed them. Growing in the middle of our unfortunate family situation, trying to find our place in a new country, and adapting to our new life all at the same time was an energy-drainer.
It’d be redundant to describe all the difficulties we encountered keeping up with school-- learning the language, fitting in, etc. What left a mark in me was to see them working nonstop. It was sad to see my parents frustrated and exhausted after working long hours and still feeling they weren’t able to come afloat...