Older Stories

Las Vegas, NV
About two years ago my dad and I moved to Laredo Texas to take care of my grandma with Alzheimer’s. After about a year I moved back to Indiana, during Christmas time I got a call from my dad that he was being taken to the CCA which is the immigration holding place in Laredo. My dad was not illegal, he had a green card and had lived in the U.S. since he was three years old. After almost 7 months waiting for court he told them to just deport him back to Mexico so he could get back to his mother. My Dad got deported for a felony from 14 yrs. ago that he already served time for because he never went in front of the judge to explain why he got the felony. 40+ years working in the United States and a tax payer. If his papers are never fixed he will never receive the benefits he deserves for all those years of work. Immigration ruins so many of our lives in so many different ways, these are people living breathing beings that have families…it’s so sad what one human being with “power” can do to another.
Laredo, TX

I was only 4 years old when I was brought to the USA. My life was not different than any other. The only hard part was going to college and having to pay everything out of pocket. So I dropped out my second year old college. I got pregnant and married my husband when I was 20. We filed the i130 shortly after my daughter was born and it was approved 2months later. We didn’t want to be separated so we put the process on hold. I didn’t want to do the i601 waiver which would waive my 10 year ban. We then had another baby and when my son was 2 differed action for childhood arrivals passed and we decided to apply for it. We meet with our lawyer and she convinced us to go the waiver route instead that I would just be out of the country in 6 months. We chose to do the i601 waiver but as I was almost ready to leave Obama passed the i601A which allows a US citizen spouse to wait in the US for waiver approval then go abroad for interview and visa. We submitted the i601a in June 2012 and it was approved in October. My visa interview in Ciudad Juarez US consulate was in December and my visa was approved! It was one of the happiest days of my life! My husband and I were in Juarez for only a week and a half. I finally have my social security, green card and CA driver’s license and I can finally live a life without fear.
Lakewood, CA

My husband is from Guyana, South America. He has been in the US for approximately 40 Yrs. He has 3 sons that are citizens, and 5 grandchildren. He has a wonderful job and we have a happy 18yr. marriage. We have been in the “green card” process for 18yrs. He has a minor criminal history and 1 felony arrest that happened 25 yrs. ago. Well he is currently in deportation jail in Greenfield, MA. I am at my wits end with this whole process. He has no family or friends in Guyana – what the heck is he going to do there! Now, I have no income, I can’t pay my rent, heating bill and will have to give up the car we are paying for. His case is simple – they can close his case because it is too old. All the case files don’t even exist anymore. He has been an upstanding “citizen” for over 25 yrs. We live like a “normal” couple – we pay our taxes and go by the book for everything! INS people are cruel, heartless and ready to put you on a plane to nowhere!
Meriden, CT

My Dad immigrated to the U.S when I was 4yrs old. He worked hard and made enough money to bring us all to Florida. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. My younger sister was born in the U.S. We had our residence up until 2000 when my parents reapplied and we were denied. My father had a good job and they had been here already for more than 20 years. My parents did not want to leave but we were all ordered to be deported. At the time I was 16 and became pregnant with my twin girls to my now ex-husband. I married my husband in 2003 around the time my daughters were born. We did the papers so I could become a legal resident and finish school. But the process was very long without a lawyer. In 2011 my world came crashing down when immigration came to my house and took me away as if I was a criminal. I am now here in Chile and it’s going to be 3 years without seeing my daughters.
Santiago, Chile
I am 27 yrs old and I have been waiting for my green card for seven years. I lived in the US when I was small and as soon as I finished high school came back to Mexico. Now I’m waiting with hope that the new immigration law gives us the green card before the illegal aliens. I came back to do it the right way.
Baja California

My name is Sophia. I’m a USA citizen. I’m 14 years old. I was born in Alexandria, Virginia. My dad was deported from the USA to Morocco. For the first 2 years we were homeless and my brother did not go to school. It was the worst and I tried to commit suicide like 4 times and for a month I was sleeping in the hospital. Now my grandparents are paying for our food and my medicine and some of our school money. But now we have a big problem because my mom’s green card doesn’t work anymore because she stayed in Morocco more than 2 years

I came to the United States when I was 4. I have been here for 14 years and I’m now 18. I was born in Jamaica and my family brought me here. It’s very hard for me to live here because I can’t do anything or get a job. I started school and then I moved to a new city & they didn’t accept me so now I don’t have a high school diploma & I can’t get a job. I cry every day and every night because all I want to do is make something of myself and make my mom proud! I just wanna live a normal life. I know nothing about Jamaica. I just want to finish my education & go to college & get a job. Is that too much to ask?
Utica NY

I’m in Mexico for immigration purposes and I’ve only been here for a few months, but it feels like I’ve been gone for such a long time. I spent 21 years of my life in the U.S and even though I speak Spanish (somewhat) I still can’t get a grip of daily life here. Things are so different here and I think its best that I keep my emotions to myself but on some nights I cry. I miss everything from home: friends, family, wife, culture, language. I don’t know how long I will be here in Mexico, but I hope its not for long. My heart aches every single day! I wish I could speak to someone, but I haven’t encountered anybody who speaks my language and I can’t properly explain how I feel in Spanish. I know I will come out of this a much stronger person and a more driven individual, its just hard to keep a straight face. They say time flies and I really hope that’s true. Thank you for reading this and I hope you’re doing ok yourself.
Portland, OR

I’m 21 years old and a US citizen. My husband is here illegally from Mexico. We have a beautiful 6 month old daughter. My husband has been here for 9 years. Life is so hard for us just as it is for many of you. He has court in 2 months for driving without a license. I’m so afraid he could get deported at court. I live everyday afraid. Like many of you all I want is to be happy and my family to be free. My husband feels like a mouse in a box who cannot do anything. I hate the way this is.

My husband was brought here at age 4 by his mother, she received amnesty in 1998 and applied for him I-130 and it was approved, but waiting illegally for 20 years is freaking ridiculous. In that time frame anything can happen and it did. My husband was deported for turning himself in for unpaid traffic tickets in 2002. Yep he didn’t know he could be deported for that having been here for most of his life. He returned of course because this is the only home he has, he was later stopped for “supposedly” speeding but charged for drugs while driving back from a job in Lubbock Texas by state troopers. The phony charges were dropped but he was deported a second time. I am a US Citizen and I wanted to try and see if there was anything that we could do. I started the process with immigration and paid all the fees, but at our last meeting for his permanent residence card, immigration officer told him that he cannot do anything unless he goes in front of a judge and to get a lawyer. Wow after taking all our fees right? On the bright side she was nice and gave him back his Texas Driver’s license and work permit and social that he had been given in the process and told him he had a year until they expire to figure out, because she had to deny him, but that he was in a pile of millions in the same situation. We received the denial letter telling him to leave the country and I have tried several lawyers; however they all say that there is no way to reopen his first deportation case again unless he files for asylum, but that asylum is never granted to Mexicans. I kind of gave up and realized that he has been here 27 years of his life undocumented and that it will just have to stay that way. I just have to always fear another deportation and his safety in returning illegally again. He has his entire family here, it isn’t fair that the person who broke the law bringing him received amnesty (I love my mother in law) but she is okay and he has no recourse because of a faulty system and crooked state troopers who were racially profiling him. Ugh!! Well I just look into the reform news daily and hope that it somehow includes people with prior deportations. Good luck and GOD bless everyone dealing with this.
Houston, Texas

I am the daughter of illegal immigrants and I am a U.S citizen. My parents left their home in Mexico in the late 80s in search for the American Dream along with my sister who was also born in Mexico. They started from rock bottom with absolutely nothing. Slowly they began to get on their feet and raised their four kids. My parents bought their own house and even though we didn’t have the perfect life our family was close. Then in 2008 immigration came knocking at our doorstep asking for my dad. At this time I was 11. Thank God my dad had left to work 5 minutes before. He could never go back to that house which he worked so hard for. He went in to hiding and as time went on life got easier. Then the worst came. In 2010, when we were living in an apartment, on May 4th he went to work like usual. He never knew that that was going to be the last day. My father picked up at work. The lawyer said that there was nothing they could do and he was deported. Therefore we convinced him to try to cross the border. He did, and during this he was kidnapped. We didn’t know where he was for more than a day and then someone called and asked for money to release him. We paid the ransom and my father was freed. After this, my dad was left traumatized and in deep depression. My mother had no choice but to leave and join my father in order to help him recover. My mother left Mother’s day of 2010. She asked the hardest question I ever have to answer: Are you staying here and continue your education or come and be with me. I chose to stay. It has now been almost 4 years and they have missed holidays, birthdays, and the births of their grandchildren. I am an honor student in the 11th grade and in AP class. My parent have 10 years before they are able to come back. They will probably not be there for my graduation which they have been my inspiration to finish. My parents deserve to be here and the laws need to change so that families aren’t separated anymore like mine was.
Santa Ana, California

I’m from San Luis Potosi Mexico and I came here when I was about 1 year old. I didn’t really go through the whole cross the border thing because I came here with a visa that told the people I was going to stay a couple months but I just stayed here to live with my dad. Now I im 14 years old. My dad is about to lose his job because he is undocumented. He is one of the best workers there he has been working there for about 15 years now! He could be manager by now if he had his papers! The people here make it seem like we are bad people! Why can’t Obama just approve the immigration reform the same way he approved the dream act? I am not the only one with this story. There are several other kids with the same problem and worries! Kids younger than 10 years old! But please let’s all never give up and keep trying until we have what we want!
Tulsa, Oklahoma

My parents brought me here when I was 7. I have been here for 10 years now without seeing my grandparents two which have passed away. I pray that one day I would be able to spend the time with my grandparents that are still alive and come back to America and be with my parents.
Hampton Bays

I used to work for a company in Pennsylvania. This was a laundry company and we had a union that represented us. Unfortunately I was injured inside the company. I was following all the rules of the company and the union, so I reported everything that happened to me. My boss knew could not fired because if that would happen I could sue the company. I never intend to sue the company because I really needed a job, but my boss was afraid I was going to do that, so he called immigration on me. This immigration guy came inside the company. He was hiding in a corner of a building. My boss tricked me. He called me to help him to do something and took me where the guy was. So he told me I was under arrest. I asked him why, but he did not give me an explanation. I am now in Guatemala.
Chiquimula, Guatemala

I came to the U.S. when I was five. Now 15 years have passed by and I’ve come to make my parents proud in graduating high school. My parents came to the states in hopes to give me a better life and they haven’t let me down once, I have the most hard working, strongest parents in the world. We have been through hell and back but we have got through it with the will of God. Our dream is that I would be given the chance to attend college and become a dentist after I was done with high school. All I want to do is be able to attend college and get the help I need like everyone else. But I can’t because I’m not a US citizen or resident. It isn’t fair. I pray one day I can get the same equality as everyone else does and not be judged for a status. I want to get this chance and make it come reality! I pray!
Nashville, TN

When I was in Venezuela, I was constantly beaten by my step father. My real father was somewhere in America, so I left home with mi madre and my brother and went to Texas where my father said he would go if we ever left Venezuela, mainly because of our aunt who lived in Houston. When we arrived in Baytown, we heard news from mi abuela and tia that we could visit them. When we reached Houston we learned that my father was dying. We stayed for ten months until my father drew his last breath and passed. I am now a member of I.C.E. and I have a wife and two kids.
Baytown, Texas

My husband came to this country since he was 7 years old. He is now 30. A few years ago we both lost our jobs and were about to be homeless when my husband made a mistake by holding a small amount of drugs for someone. The same day, the cops forced themselves into our apartment and forced my husband to sign a paper for them to search the apartment (they had already searched the apartment and destroyed all our stuff at this point and waited in our apartment until another cop brought a warrant for my husband to sign). Anyway, my husband got 2 years’ probation and did not do any prison time in his entire life. Since then, he became a Jehovah Witnesses, got himself enrolled in college and was about to graduate on November 2013, when ICE showed up at our home and took him in July 2013. My husband has been in this country his most of his life (27 years) since he was kid and only visited his country twice for a few days. Despite his 10 years working history and enrollment in school and being an active member in our community (always helping the neighbors), he is now being deported to a country that he does not know….a language that he hardly knows…he’s leaving his daughter, his dog and his entire family I am completely devastated…how can ICE take away people from their family for petty crimes and send them back to a country that they do not know…just because they were born there….Why is it that God can give second chances but us humans cannot? Before this happen, we did not even know ICE existed…we are all human beings and everyone deserves a second chance.
Ana F.
Newark, NJ
I’m an American Indian from Oklahoma. My husband and I met back in 2005. We didn’t start dating until Feb. of 2006. Happiest times of my life. In May of 2007 we had a baby girl. Mi esposo was illegal but I didnt care i loved him. In 2010 he got caught driving w/out license. Got turned over to ICE. He is in Mexico now. All apps are done now. We just waiting on the answer.
Muldrow, Oklahoma

I came to the US with my husband five years ago. It was the traditional story of facing a new culture, language, norms, system etc., to not forget all the economic difficulties we faced because we arrived during the height of the economic crisis when original Americans couldn’t find jobs. To make the long story short, what happened was that I learned English and my husband didn’t, instead, he started relying on me concerning any communication with society in a way that scared me and affected our relationship. I had been feeling alone, unsafe and afraid. I was myself learning a lot of new things and he started acting like if “I know it all”. The other thing is that I don’t agree much with his way of resolving things because he’s restless and I am more a quiet person. Last year I lost my dad back home and I passed through very tough period. I am sad and I don’t know if I should get divorce. I feel responsible for my husband and I respect him.
Farmington Hills

I was born in Jalisco Mexico, where I lived with my parents and eleven siblings. At the age of 15, I started my remarkable journey coming to California in the United States. At one point I lived in the mountains. I then began working in the vegetable fields in California in order to bring, raise and help educate my siblings. I then got an opportunity to work as a dishwasher and night cleaner at a lodge in Pebble Beach. I worked hard and long hours on the graveyard shift so I could continue to go to school and learn English. I was quickly promoted to line cook and had the opportunity to cook for past President George H.W. Bush. I am currently a private chef, radio host, writer, journalist and TV and radio producer. I maintain a very busy life doing the things I love with a passion.
West Palm Beach

I was adopted by my uncle and aunt when I was 14 years old. I have been living in the U.S. since I was 14 until the age of 20. I returned back to my home country because my mother was in stage 4 of cancer and now she has passed. Now I wish to return back to the U.S. however, my uncle and aunt did not continued applying for a green card or a citizenship for me.

I’m 35 years old and I am undocumented. I was born in Peru and at the age of 5 me and my 1 year old brother with my mother arrived in Mexico by plane from Peru but crossed the border of Mexico to America by foot to meet my father who was already in America. He was able to come first by plane to America because he was the only one granted with a visa from Peru but me my brother and mother were not. I have been living in America for over 30 years and undocumented, I am educated here and America is all I know, with me being undocumented I am unable to find work and if I do it’s only for the day or its seasonal and for low pay which makes it impossible to sustain myself and everyday I’m just trying to survive by trying to find work where ever I can. The only one that is living a successful and productive life is my 24 year old brother who was born here who took advantage of the American dream as it is his right to do so as a American, went to college and during that process got cancer, took a year off, beat cancer and bounced right back and finished college and is in Japan to further and advance his degree. So my baby brother is living the life that we should have had but we are all proud of him as he has endured a lot himself in his own life and has channeled our family’s suffering
Carlstadt, New Jersey

I came to America from United Kingdom London in 2005 for a holiday. I was 18 years old at the time I got a 3 months visa waiver, I had no plans staying over my visa but faith had its own plans. I meet guy and we married in 2007. We continued living together till we went to a lawyer and advised me to go back to England as that’s the only way for my hubby to apply a petition for me. Meanwhile we took his advice I came back to UK so when he tried to process for me the petition we found out that I have ban for 10 years as I over stayed my visa more than 1 year.

I came here for a better life and send money to my family. When I was in Mexico I have to leave my middle school and get a job to survive and give some food to my family. Then I decided to come to Houston and send money to my mom but I wanedt to finish my middle school and keep on high school and actually I want to get a college degree but i don’t know how.

My name is Gloria and I am 19 years old, I was born in Reynosa Mexico to a Mexican man and a US woman. I have lived here in the United States since really little and when I was like 10 I got taken away from my mother in the state of Arkansas by the Foster care program. At age 16 I started to act up and I never got adopted so I kept running away until now I’m 19 still with no papers. I have twin boys born in the United States and leaving with my boyfriend. I want to get married and have him apply for me but I’m scared things are going to go wrong. My life is ruined and it sucks because my mother could of done something but she didn’t.
Zapata, Texas

My husband came from Mexico when he was only 18years old. He is now 33 years old I’ve been with him for 13 of those years. We have 4 kids together. Our 2 year old is a special needs child. So our life has been tough. Every day for us is pay check to paycheck. 3 days ago my husband got the worst news of his life. His mother has cancer and is very ill. He has been depressed since I don’t know what to do. But I’m trying to go through this process with him. My husband has worked since he was 10 years old and he has never been to jail. He is a good honest hard working man. I don’t think anyone should have to go through what my husband or any immigrant goes through. It is unfair that people just like you and me have to suffer because of our race. We as American people should have a heart and know what other people go through. Those of you who ask but why doesn’t he have papers if his wife is an American, it’s because of the lack of money, it’s not fair that a person cannot see his dying mother because of money. The heart has no color or race
Ocala FL

I came to the state of California when I was 15yrs old by myself. I got into high school with the help of a nice lady who i meet at a beauty salon I couldn’t afford going to a university and couldn’t get a loan because of not having a real social security number. I waited for ever for a new immigration law that would help me continue with my education but eleven yrs had passed and nothing . Out of desperation and frustration I stated to get in trouble with the Law. Between 2003 and now I have been charged with a felony from having four DUI’s. However I have never been in an accident in two decades or more. I have paid my taxes for two decades or more too. I have had two homes and a my own business. I’ve been here illegally for 24 yr . I’m five months away from being 40yrs old. I think my life is over, but the law should treat everyone the same whether you are a movie celebrity or just a regular person like myself. I wish I can get one day just one chance and make things right.
Rowland Heights, CA

My husband came here from Mexico illegally hoping to work towards getting his papers. Previous family members failed and the wait for a visa takes years if you don’t have family already legal in the US. My husband’s previous family members had taxes taken out of their check and never filed and did contribute to the economy. Previously to meeting my husband I was a victim of domestic violence and hospitalized for depression a few times. I was also taken advantage of financially and emotionally by my blood relatives in the past. He has helped me become more confident and helps relieve my depression and other mental issues. We also have a two month old baby he helps with. Because of my condition I’m unable to work but past jobs have worked him 8hrs a day and only paid $36 for that day plus he worked 7/days a week without a day off. But he tries to provide the best he can for me a born US citizen and three children.
Oroville, CA

I came here when i was 3 years old. I’m currently 16. Everyone else in my family that is here with me is legal. Everyone but me. I’m close to finishing high school… too close. It scares me to think what will happen once I graduate; I’m scared everyone around me will move forward with their lives and I’ll just be stuck here. I’m losing hope. I love America, this is my home, but this is no way to live. I didn’t choose to be here, they did… and now I’ll have to deal with the consequences.I just want to go to college, study medicine and save lives. Is that too much to ask for? I just want to belong here, I want to be an American citizen.
Lost Dreamer
Somewhere within America

My parents died and my aunt came to Canada and took me back to U.S.A in 1972. They adopted me in 1974 and were told I was now an American. I was given a Social Security card. I was 13 years old when they adopted me. From that time on I was like every other kid in U.S.A. I had a paper route, went to work at the age of 15, paid taxes every year, went and finish high school, got married in 1987, until 1989 I was working for a trucking company and they told me immigration called and wanted me. Well Come to find out my aunt and uncle didn’t do any immigration on me so I ended up almost getting deported but I finally got my Permanent Resident card.
Sherwood, Arkansas

I am a US citizen and I married my husband in 2011. We have been married two years and he entered the country illegally in 2001 to work and help his family. He left the country voluntarily in April 2013 for his interview. After the interview we were told he needed to get the I-601 waiver so he could return. We went through a lawyer since we had filed one back in October 2012. They have not responded at all and every time we call they say another 45 days. I was born here but since the home we were renting is in foreclosure, when the notice to leave comes, I am making the decision to sell everything in the house and leave and NEVER return. The good thing is my kids are US citizens so they can return when they would like to for college etc. Our I-601 waiver has been in progress for 10 months and we have no idea of what will happen. They will not even send us a formal denial if that is what they are going to do. This process has been horrible and costs so much money and I feel that they are not even taking this seriously or even considering our case since 10 months has gone by without a word. The immigration lawyer was really efficient and did a lot of work on their behalf but now they refuse to even give her information.
Royal Oak, MI

As I write this tears form in my eyes… I am the daughter of an undocumented super woman. My mother has been undocumented for the past 27 years in this great big country we know as America – Land of the Free – Land of Opportunity…but to me it isn’t all that great, it hasn’t been great to the woman I owe my life to, it hasn’t been great to the millions of parents who’ve been deported, mistreated, left to die on hospital beds because of their “citizenship status” My mother is dying, she has diabetes type 2, menopause, and heart problems. Her story will one day be heard and published because I will make sure this history does not repeat. Without medical coverage, millions of the real hard workers, the real Americans, are left to suffer in ill pain and die. One day, this will change because I like many of my friends are sick of the policies this country has against our parents, our first teachers, and our number one supporters. My mother has never hurt anyone, has never committed a crime, and has never robbed anything. Her story will be known, and her legacy will put an end to the oppression of undocumented immigrants in America.
Jessica O
South Hadley, MA

I’m a U.S. citizen from Arizona and I’ve been married to my husband for 4 years. He has two children from his first relationship. My husband spent most of his life in U.S. Yes he went illegal like the rest of them. There’s no shame in that because every Mexican that went to U.S. went for one reason to have a better life and to support their family back in Mexico. So he worked at ant job he could fine to send money back to his parents. About 2 years ago my husband got deported back to his country. No questions asked, it didn’t matter if you married or had any children they just deported him back. So we are now living in Mexico and waiting for his appointment to come around. We filed for his residency and are still waiting. Our lawyer said 6 months to 1 year and the year almost over.
New Mexico

My husband and I met in Middle School. He didn’t know he was an immigrant. His mom brought him here at the age of 2. At 17 we had our son. And we later got married. He ended up getting the conditional resident card but we didn’t have the money to remove the conditions. We ended up getting a notice to appear in court and we went. We never got our second notice to appear date and we based our thoughts on it being the 20th of April 2012. On the 13th of April we received a letter saying we missed the court and he had been ordered removed. We immediately looked for an attorney to help us because our old attorney dropped us because again we didn’t have the means to pay him. The new attorney told him she would petition to reopen immediately. Which she did unfortunately it took the Judge a whole year to answer and say NO. On Friday September 27, 2013 my husband was heading to work at 5 am and got picked up by ICE. Now my husband is in Matamoros Mexico a dangerous place to live and all because a Judge wouldn’t forgive a mistake. He doesn’t realize that by deporting people he is breaking families up. Kids are growing up without their parents and wives are left to provide for the household. Now we will have to risk our lives to go across a dangerous border to see my husband and my son will suffer not having his daddy around.
Name not given
Beaumont, TX

I was 3 1/2 years old when I came to this country from Mexico, but everything changed three weeks before we came here. My mom had been working at this really nice hotel for over three years and ended up meeting this American. They got married three or four month after they met and my brother, two sisters and me accepted him as our step-father. One day my step-father came to the house and said to my mother that “I would love to take you and the kids to the United States, so I can give you and the kids a better life.” We ended up taking a road trip to the United States. He took my mom, my brother and me. Our sisters would fly up later. We were on the road for almost 6 hours and it was in middle of the night. My step-father was driving with my mother on the passenger side and my brother behind my mother and me behind my step-father. My step-father ended up passing out and we slammed into the back of a semi. God was looking out for me and my step-father, but not so much for my mother and brother. My step dad ended up waking up from a coma two weeks later and the first thing he thought about was my mom and kids. He didn’t know what happened but his sister told him the whole story about how they ended up flying him to the USA and they took me back to my grandmother. As soon as he heard what happened he didn’t think twice. It took him a couple of days to find my grandmother’s house cause he’s only been there once but he found us. He apologized to my grandmother for everything that happened and said all he wanted to do is keep that promise to my mom. So he took me and my two sisters to the USA and we ended up very successful in life.
Jose B.
San Diego CA

I am legally living in the USA since 2004. In 2004, I came here for Master’s degree from a very reputed university. I met my husband while at college. We have been legally working since last six years. We legally filed for Green Card approval last year and my husband is waiting for a decision on his application filed in April 2012. The Green Card process itself takes a long time (6 – 8 years). But it usually takes around 3 – 4 months for the initial application to be processed. It has taken almost an year and we have not heard a word. Since the first step is still pending my husband will run out of his work visa next month and will have to stop working. All because people at the office of the Department of Labor are not doing their job or over loaded. Why is it so difficult to live legally in this country? Shouldn’t this be easier. We are paying taxes, social security, and all the immigration fees.
Germantown, MD

I’m 24 years old. In two months it will be 2 decades of living in this country illegally. I’m the youngest of 5 and came to the US with my mother in 1993. We had nothing in Mexico and the only way we were getting through was by my father who was already in the US to send us money. When we arrived two years later my father got deported. My mother worked in the fields picking tomatoes, green peppers and strawberries so we could eat. It was still not enough. My older brother and sister who were only 12 and 13 years old when we came to the US had to give up their education and help my mother work. I can’t thank them enough for their sacrifice that led to the 3 youngest in the family to proudly graduate with a high school diploma. I have never felt like an “American”. To me being an American means having FREEDOM. Free to be whatever you work hard for and always having a fair shot and not being held back by your Race, Gender or Sexuality. In my case it’s my illegal status that keeps me down and unable to better my life. To ICE I’m a criminal for being brought to this country when I was 5 yrs old. I have never been in any trouble with law enforcement but have always feared that at any moment someone in my family can be separated and sent back to a country that doesn’t feel like home. The US is where we feel at home but unfortunately we don’t yet have the freedom that most Americans take for granted. We are a family without a country and have been for too long now! I have been married for 2 yrs to a US citizen and have a beautiful 1 year old and have been relentlessly pursuing a Medical career that is not coming without more struggles..
Tampa, Florida

I am a U.S. citizen having to live separately from my husband. Immigration gave him 10 years to be out of the country. It is difficult to be going back and forth to visit him in Mexico. I refuse to leave my country. As a U.S. citizen I feel I don’t have to! We have a 9 month baby and of course he missed his birth and now he’s missing his first words, first crawl, first steps, everything!!! I don’t understand these laws. We were trying to do right by filing for his residency, but instead we get a big 10 years! My husband is a hard working man, no criminal record, doesn’t drink nor smoke, nor do any drugs. What kills me the most is that we’re newly weds and this is how we get to spend our beautiful new life as a married couple, separated!!!! This has to change, instead of uniting us they are separating us.
Bakersfield, CA

I came to this country when I was 20 years old. I had to learn the language. It was hard at first. I didn’t want to speak. I got my first job at McDonald’s. My arms are all burned now because of their frying pans. I put myself through college and graduate with honors. I don’t have my family member in this country and I miss them dearly. I’m just working hard now so I can bring at least my parents here. My mom is diabetic and I hope she will receive a better care in the US.
Minneapolis, MN

I’m a US citizen married to a Mexican immigrant. Four years ago he was denied his waiver for 10 years. I love my husband so I picked up the family and moved to Mexico with him. Problem is that there are little advantages for my children here in Mexico. You have to pay for school. My children no longer want to speak English. My husband needs his visa for are children’s sake. We are a family and stand against being divided. What happened to GOD BLESS THE USA?
Pedro Escobedo, QTR MEXICO

I am a US citizen and I am married to a wonderful man. He is illegal from Guatemala and we have 2 children together and they are 5 and 1. I don’t know what we would do if he got taken from us. He works hard to help us. We both have hired a lawyer and then got a different one. We don’t know what else to do. But I would hate if he had to leave.
Sebring, Florida

My parents brought me to California when I was just 1month old and since then I lived in the U.S.A. My parents never fixed my documentation so I when I grew up learned that I wasn’t the same as everyone. My whole life I just wanted to be a legal citizen. 2011 was a really awful year. My dad owned a body shop and on the way to work we get pulled over by an ICE agent in unmarked Tahoe. He proceeded to ask my dad for his license and told him he was speeding. My dad said he wasn’t and the agent told my dad to get out of the car. The agent told him that he was in USA illegally and took him in the back of his squad car. He asked me what my name was and I told him. He asked me if I was a citizen of this country and I didn’t respond. So he told me to get out and arrested me too. I just don’t know what to do and wish I could go home and live my life
Tijuana, Mexico

I came to the U.S. when I was one. My parents came months before I did to make sure they had a foundation to raise me. I always knew I was illegal, but I never really knew what to do about it. I’m 14 years old now and worried about my illegal status. Now that I’m going into high school I freaks me out that I can’t get a permit or get a good job. My dream is to become a world renowned dermatologist. Hopefully, a miracle happens and help all of the adolescents with the same situation. I pray for a miracle every day.
New York

Me and my 13 year old miss my husband. ICE and border patrol took him away. I really hoped that the marriage license would count. It is not fair that we can not be together yet we are legally married. It really broke our hearts that he got taken away.
Mrs Acuna
Ajo Arizona

My husband was taken from me for 7 years. I hear the women in these stories and I feel your pain. I was left with a child with seizures and ADHD. He is a special needs child and yet immigration did not care. They told me he did not count. His penalty was 10 years for being brought so young here. So I did what was best. I sent my husband to Tijuana found him a decent room for $50 a month and every 3-4 weeks I get on a greyhound bus and spend a couple of days. Ladies, be strong. This is temporary. Do not let them break your spirits. My husband left January 31, 2006 to Juarez and never came back. He is coming home this February 2013, I am scared to start over with him. I got so used to living on my own. I know the love is there, if you trust your spouse and he is a good man, there is nothing we cannot overcome. One thing I learned, do not listen to others when they say negative things about your spouse being on the other side. Not everyone thinks the same, communication between each other is the key. God bless you and pray strongly for your loved ones.
Westminster, CA

I am naturalized US citizen and my husband Abbas is a citizen of Pakistan. We have been married since 2003 and the validity of our marriage has never been in doubt. Abbas works really hard and is a very responsible husband. He has been in the U.S. since 1991 and has paid taxes all the time. We have filed joint tax since we got married for almost 10 years. He has no criminal record. I cannot work because of medical illness and I depend on my husband. I am often in very much pain and cannot stand or walk for long periods of time. The problem is that my husband Abbas has a deportation order. He reports to the ICE office every three months. This time ICE gave him a last chance of three months and told him bring the travel ticket March 13, 2013. I cannot imagine life without my husband. He is the one who cares for me, takes care all of my needs, and completes my life. If I stay in the United States without my husband, it will be impossible for me to work and keep our house. I will be on public assistance charity and the charity of my family. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The police are unwilling and unable to protect anybody that is not politically connected, but even more so for people like my husband and myself who will both be thought of as “rich Americans.” We will be the target of kidnapping by common thugs who believe they will have an easy target. I believe there must be a place for us in this country. I am only asking for a little mercy so that we can live out our lives in this country in peace.
Jersey City

I have been married with my husband for 10 years we have 4 children together. He entered the US Illegally. We recently filed the I-130 and got our approval and then we did the affidavit of support but I am so scared to send it. I am going to send it Monday and we need to see when he would get his interview in Honduras and see if he is eligible for I-601. I have been driving myself of the wall just to think that he may have to face a ten year bar. I am a US citizen concerned for my loved one, not just my husband but my children. They have never been apart. I just pray God is with us and with everyone in this situation.
Grand Rapids MI

My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years. He was born and raised in Switzerland and came to the US in 2001 because we decided to get married. We are both Croatian, but I hold a US passport and was born in America. My husband has a Croatian passport. 10 years ago, when his English was not so good, he was asked by immigration officials if his intent to come to the US was to get married? He answered yes because he wanted to marry me. Well, his answer was wrong. He committed a crime. He should have said no. In the US you are not allowed to come to America with the intent to marry. Since then we have had 3 kids. He has never been arrested or broken the law. Yet when he decided to apply for citizenship he had some problems. He has been forced to wear an ankle monitor and report everywhere he is going. We are not even allowed to go out to dinner or a movie. Why? Because he answered yes. Or maybe because he is from Croatia? Or maybe because the US government is becoming like a communist country. Taking away basic freedom from individuals. Switzerland is a good county, in my opinion, better than the US. He had no reason to leave other then he loved me. And now his ultimate love turned out to be a punishment. In the end, I am only sorry that this is his American experience.
San Francisco, CA

I was born in Mexico, my parents decided to come to the U.S illegally, they decided bring me and my sister along. I was 2 years old, and my sister was about 5. I know nothing about Mexico. This was in 1998, Now that I’m almost done with high school i was looking at colleges and many won’t let me in because of my status. I wanted to be a doctor for the U.S. armed forces, but it feels like it’s going be a really hard road for me.
No name given
Omaha Nebraska

I came here in 2001 with my family on a tourist visa, and a month later my US citizen uncle petition for my mom and the rest of the family to get a green card. The waiting time for a brother to make a sibling legal is over 10 years. Unfortunately, my mom passed away from cancer last years and many lawyers told my dad, my brother and I we cannot go ahead with the petition. We found a law for surviving family members and maybe my dad will be able to benefit from it. To make it worse, my brother and I have aged out, meaning we are older than the age limit to get a green card. After waiting 11 years in line to get a green card, we are now at a dead end. This system is broken and doesn’t reward those who try to do things in the legal way. If we could sell our house, we would leave, but we can’t. And my mom is buried here, so I think it would be too painful to never be able to visit her again.
Boston, MA

I have a mother who was deported five years ago at the age of 75. My mom had ten kids. We are all American kids. My mom worked all her life with a social security that was given to her. I am 40years old and the youngest of them all. My mom is alone in Mexico trying to adapt to life there. In Mexico it is hard to trust people cause they think my mom has money cause all her kids are Americans. Since my mom has been in Mexico she has been robbed and scammed out of what little money she had. At her age what wrong can she do? Just give us these last years left with her. We will take care of all expenses for her. It will not cost the government anything at all.
Stockton, CA

My fiance ran away when he was 13 years old. He stopped at a fast food restaurant to buy himself some food. This is where he met the family who would change his life forever. They told him that they would take him somewhere safe. They brought him here illegally and dropped him off at a shelter. He doesn’t remember the name of the family or even what they look like. He’s been on his own ever since. About a year ago we met and fell in love. About five weeks ago we found out I’m pregnant (9 weeks now) and I’m scared. He works at a restaurant. He works 10+ hours a day without a break and doesn’t make much money. I’m a disabled veteran who has a 2 year old from a previous marriage. He is a U.S. soldier and he will never let us move to Mexico if my fiance is deported. I will never be able to leave my child here and live in Mexico either. My health care that I can’t go without is through the VA (veterans affairs) and there would be no way to continue my treatment in Mexico. I’m so lost.
Austin, TX

My husband is a native of Dominican Republic and he came here with his mother and brothers when he was 14 for a better life. He came here legally and was here with a green card from the time he was 14 until just this year when he got deported at the age of 36. When he was in his late teens early 20’s he got into trouble and changed his life around. We met when he was cook at my family’s restaurant and we married 2 years later. When my husband went to renew his green card it was approved and sent to our home. Two months later immigration picks him and takes him to a detention center telling him he is illegal. We go through the motions and fight for 8 months and 10 thousand dollars later he gets deported. Nothing the lawyer can do because of a felony from 14 years ago.
Rebecca Ann
Grand Rapids, Michigan

My dad has been living in NYC for more than 25 years. He is a hard working man and spends most of his time working. He works unloading trucks and sells plants. He will often tell me that as a young child he was abandoned by his parents and raised by his grandparents. He will tell me that he never had much to eat and lived in a small house his grandfather had built. My father loved celebrating Christmas in Mexico because it was the only time when he would receive goody bags and the neighbors would invite him to eat at their houses. Since my father lived with his grandparents, he only ate whatever his grandfather could afford. Once old enough to work, he saved up money and helped his grandparents out. But soon both his grandparents died and he was left alone. He met my mother and promised her that in a year they were going to get marry. He came to NYC and in a year returned to Mexico to marry my mom. My parents have been living in NYC for more than 25 years. I am 18 year old. I hope that soon I can help my parents have a better life and return to Mexico.

I was brought to the U.S. when I was four I believe. I was brought up here with only faint memories of the country I was born in. I grew up always hearing about “aliens” and illegal immigrants. At first I thought they were talking about real aliens which made me feel scared. it wasn’t until I got into middle school that I started understanding it wasn’t Martians they were talking about, it was me. I know how hard life can be and truly what we fail to see is the other side of our debate. I can tell you if I had a chance to be born here or be born in Mexico and then be brought over here I would still choose the latter so if I ever got citizenship I would appreciate it and not flail it around like I deserve it. In every government action there will be someone to suffer but not taking action is when everyone suffers. For we cannot imagine how other people can cheat their way in nor can we understand how other people can break away a family until we step into their shoes.
No name given

My dad arrived to the US as an illegal immigrant at age 16 in the 80’s. By 1986 he was eligible to apply for the amnesty that President Reagan allowed. My dad at that time worked in the fields picking peaches and other fruit out in Delano, Californias so automatically he got his social security number. Then when he got his residency card and went to renew a couple of years later it turned out to be fake! Turns out that lady that sold it to him was fake! So now my dad is just left with a social security… now my mother is a illegal immigrant as well. She came into the states in 1990 and lived in Los Angeles then in 1992 she had me. Pretty soon after I was born we moved to Dallas where both of my younger brothers were born. Now my parents haven’t been back to Mexico to visit their families in ages. We’ve been to lawyers to ask about their situation and all they tell us is to wait till I turn 21 so I can petition them into getting their residency…. now we are just counting the days till i turn 21 (which is in 6 months) I just hope my parents get approved because my dad’s been here for 30 yrs and my mom has been here for 22… I think it’s time the US can forgive them!
Dallas, Texas

I came to America in 2002 with a student visa having my studies sponsored by my in-laws. I didn’t know what I was signing up for. I finished my studies and tried to find a job with a work permit. In the mean time I had to work hard for the in laws to pay the loan from sunrise to sunset including weekends. I overstayed my visa. Besides working hard for them, they kicked out me twice of their house knowing that I didn’t have a place to go. I finally decided to leave. As 2012 I’m still in the US with an uncertain future. Can’t get a driver’s license, can’t get a real job. Once in awhile i still hear thatI need to pay their money back after so much work. Hopefully something will change soon.
No name given
Lawton Oklahoma

My name is Lena and I’m a US citizen. My kids father is from Mexico City and he being detained right now and I’m also pregnant with our 3 child and dealing with lupus and have arthritis in my body especially in my back and neck and legs also over weight, severe depression and scared I’m going to lose my child from all this that’s going on. I need him here to take care of me and the children. We’ve been together for 10 years now and I’m so lucky to have him in my life. He does everything for me without complaining and understands all the pain and suffering I’m going thru. I’m also scared he might try to commit suicide if they try to send him back. I cried when I went to go see him in the immigration. He cried and said I don’t want to go back I want to stay here with you and my babies and so I can take care of you. He’s scared something is going to happen to me because im really sick. My children don’t know what could happen to me. I don’t want them to worry about me . I just don’t know where to turn.
Seattle WA

I am a US born citizen and have been married for over 4 years to my wonderful husband. He entered the US illegally over 7 years ago. He had come legally with a visa other times before with his parents. As he became older he made bad decisions that forced him to flee his country without telling his family. He now deeply regrets that decision because he is living in fear daily of deportation. We have two children together. My daughter 10 is from another relationship but in every way that counts he is her “papi”. Our son is 3 and adores his father. My husband is very intelligent and full of ambition but sadly he can not continue his education here. We have great jobs contractors and are very happy living here. Recently a friend was pulled over for driving with an expired license. He is an illegal alien also and has a blind son to care for, so he does not have a lot of options. His country does not have programs available for blind children. We have spoken to three different lawyers and paid thousands of dollars only to find out that we don’t have many options. The only thing we can do to obtain residency for my husband is for him to return to his country and apply there, and hope that he doesn’t have to wait ten years to return. This is not an option because he is our provider! I lay awake at night thinking about this. I am worried that because our friend was living with us that once immigration finds out our friend is illegal they may come search my home and find out my husband is illegal. This is no way to live!! I cannot be separated for ten years from my husband, and his country is too dangerous for us to live there. I pray that one day soon there will be a change in immigration laws that allows for families to stay together. Thank you for listening to our story and God bless you all!!!

When I was young I considered myself an American. I ate hot dogs and hamburgers on the 4th of July, and i even have a cousin who served his country in the Iraq war. I am one of five children, of which three are US citizens and two are not. I am not. My parents are not “legal” either. Currently my father is in Mexico after being deported. I live in an area where half of all people are Mexican and half are white. The white residents seem to think that all Mexicans should be deported. This would have terrible consequences for America because nearly all migrant workers, contractors, and people involved in certain industries are illegals. Life for an immigrant is hard. We are often treated poorly and cannot have licenses or other necessities. I have lived in the united states for most of my life and because i am older than sixteen I do not benefit from this new law either. All Americans except natives are immigrants. Why can’t there be some leniency to these new immigrants. I understand deporting criminals but why hard working non-criminals such as my father who lived in America for twenty five years. My father was deported under president Barack Obama. He has deported more immigrants than any other president. I heard him say once he would change immigration laws not make them stricter. But still I love America.

My parents are Guatemalan immigrants and I was born in the United States and my parents were having problems so they decided to immigrate to Germany. There were many Latin Americans in Europe and after 10 months my parents moved to Amsterdam the Netherlands. When I was 20 I decided to move to my home town Montclair California then 8 years later to Pomona California and that’s where I live today.
Pomona California

I was brought here illegally by my parents when I was 11 years old. I started middle school right away and since I did not know any English, I struggled to communicate with teachers and friends my first years. When I graduated high school my dad, brother and I got our residency(“green card”). I wanted to go to college but my parents did not have the financial means to send me so I decided to join the military. After 2 tours in Iraq, I feel proud to have served the US military. I acquired my citizenship while in the military too. I hope that one day we can all be given a chance to be “equal”.
Laurel, MD

I was born in Mexico and I came to the USA when I turned 6 by Visa (tourist). My mom and me stayed here and now I have over 10 years here. I was wondering if there’s any way I can become a resident? I go to school and live a normal life like everybody else, but I have the disadvantage of not being born here. I really want to go to college and have a good job.
Hayward, CA

My parents brought me to the USA when I was about 2. I’m 20 years old now and have a beautiful baby girl. I happened to fall in love with another immigrant so now our small family is suffering. I can’t work or drive. I was attending school but it breaks my heart that I can’t finish my career. I am now very depressed. I feel stuck because the place that my heart calls home doesn’t want me. I recently attended a CNA orientation I was very excited. I stayed two hrs and at the end I was denied for not having a social. I was destroyed. I cried the whole way home with my baby in the car. I’m just trying to provide for my baby. Why should she suffer? She’s a citizen. I’ve thought of going back to my country, but I don’t know anything about my birthplace. It’s so scary and I don’t know anyone and I speak and write more English than Spanish. I love the USA this is the place that feels like home. I’m so desperate!
Pomona California

My husband and I have been together for 12 years now. We met in 2000 and legally married in 2005. My husband is now 31 and was brought here with his mom illegally when he was 15. My husband has been deported 2 times already. The second one, he was barred from the U.S. for ten years. We have 4 children together. My husband speaks English, writes, and reads it as well. I wake up every day worried that it might be the last morning I wake up and still have him by my side. Everywhere I go seeking help on fixing his status, I’m told it is impossible. I think it’s unfair that I have to live in fear wondering if my husband/children’s father will be taken from me. We belong together. It just hurts to know that I may one day lose him.
Jeri Alexander
Bryan, Texas

I was brought to the US on my mother’s 35th birthday. I had just turned 5 a week before and I only remember saying goodbye to everyone, boarding a plane and crying because I was terrified of planes. When we arrived, I remember it was really cold. I am now 13 years old and extremely depressed because of my legal status. I’ve known my whole life I’m illegal but now that I am 13 and soon entering high school, it has been scaring me that I have 4 years until I have to face the real world and probably have a worse life than I already do. I am not poor but I am not wealthy either. My father is the only one with a stable job but will soon lose it because he license is close to expiring. I love him and I family to death and I am very scared because I don’t know what we are going to do without his job. We are not criminals. We’ve never done anything wrong. I don’t have the best grades but I have ADD and Dyslexia. I speak both English and Spanish but I feel both American and Mexican. Outside, I live the life of a typical American teenager but when I go home, I become a Spanish speaking Mexican girl. It doesn’t bother me, but my family needs to understand that we are in a different country and need to adjust. I don’t mean to forget our Mexican roots (which I’m very proud if) but I have become more American. After all, we ARE in America. My dream for now is that America opens her eyes and realizes that this country is MADE up of immigrants and NEEDS them. We are not here to make this country a bad country. We are here for a better life! I don’t understand why Americans don’t see that. I just pray to God that everything goes well with my family. I love them and have no idea what I would do without them. At times I get angry for either not being smart enough to have me be born here or never coming to this country at all but when I think about it, they made the right decision and we are better off here, even if it means having a crappy life for a while.
Sacramento California

I met my husband at a local diner, where we were both employed together, it was love at first sight, every time I saw him I would get butterflies in my stomach, he made me laugh, I was finally happy for once in my life, I had just broke off with my ex of 10yrs that I have 2 beautiful girls with, it was a horrible relationship I was battered and abused by this man, so when I met my husband I thought that all my troubles were over, I thought that there was nothing left for me but a happy ending and that I would live the rest of my days happily ever after, but little did I know that my problems were just beginning, I knew when I met him that he was not a citizen, I didn’t think much of it I figured that we would just get married and that it would all resolved. That didn’t happen. We were together for 4 great years and we had two wonderful boys together. Life was great and we were doing well until one morning he was leaving for work he gave me a kiss as always and said I love you, I will see you later babe. About 20mins later I received a call from him he said that ICE picked him up and that they are detaining him for deportation. I couldn’t believe it. We are married and have a family together, not to mention that he was my only means of support. I have 4 children, how am I supposed to take care of them alone? It was 4 days before I could even see him, they had him on lockdown as if he was a criminal. This man had never in his life done anything bad and now there he is locked up like a rapist or thief. Why is this country so cruel? Why is this happening to innocent people? These people are not aliens, they have names, they bleed the same blood as a US citizen does. So why are they being discriminated against? My husband is still locked up in Delany Hall in Newark NJ. We are trying to see what we can do to stop the deportation process, but it is taking a lot of time and money and I feel like we are running out of both. My prayers are all that I have left. I pray that all the cases that I have read on this page and that all other cases out there will become happily resolved and that families won’t have to be separated and destroyed. We can make a change if we all get together and fight for our beliefs and stand up for our rights. A man who stands alone is a lonely man, a man who stands with an army is a strong man. And that’s what I believe. We can STOP deportation, if we try.
Bayonne, NJ

My name is Silvia and I am a US citizen. I married a immigrant who was on TPS status. He lived in the US for over 11 years. He was deported back to his country “EL Salvador” because of a domestic dispute he had in a relationship before he and I started dating. He never been in trouble before and I pray that he will get an opportunity to come back to the US. I visited El Salvador to see him in 2011. We now have a baby boy, Javier. Everything is court pending with my husband. I can say all the days and time my husband and I was together he never showed no-kind of abuse or violence toward me or my family. He was honestly with the wrong woman in his past who caused trouble in his life. One mistake by my husband/immigrant cause him to be deported back. He is not a bad person but did make the wrong decision by dating someone that was violent toward him but the courts say he is the bad person. So sad! I hope he will be back soon to raise his baby who is now 6 months old and to support his family. Dang, he is a good man and now his life is gone to the ground for now. Oh my, Life.
Saint Paul, MN

I was born in Mexico towards the West side. My parents left me when I was 14 years old. They left to New Mexico. When I was 17, I left for New Mexico in order to see my parents. I found my parents living in a shelter home a few months after I arrived. Working in the shelter’s shop, my family and I were able to raise enough money to move into a nearby community center. Currently my dad is illegally employed as a mechanic making $4.50 and hour and my mom works in the nearby laundromat. I work as an apprentice carpenter with no paperwork and no insurance. Recently a friend of mine was hurt while laying down some drywall and has no source of income. Both families are living off of less than $200 a month and are always combating poverty. Every day we live in fear of being deported, there is nothing left in Mexico for us.
Albuquerque, New Mexico

I meet my husband 11 years ago and we have been married for 7. He came to the country with legal working papers but he did not return when he was supposed to. He got caught at the border with Canada but they let him go with a citation to immigration court. We fought the case for about 2 years and now he has been in Colombia for 6 years. He has no criminal record but they still will not let him come back.
New Jersey

Me and my husband have been married for a year now. He is 21 years old and attended 12 years of school here in Hawaii. He was brought here when he was 3 years old by his uncle from Tonga. No one knows how he came in to the U.S but his uncle that brought him here. But the bad thing about this is his uncle passed over not too long after bringing him here. So he is basically screwed! We have a 2 month old son who needs his dad more than anything. We both need him. I’ve been researching for many months now about how to make him a US citizen while he is here in the US but reading a lot of facts makes me kind of worried and scared. Its a risky situation that I want to take just to make him citizen but at the same time I do not want to lose him to getting deported back to TOnga.
Lahaina, Hi

I am a US citizen married to an illegal immigrant. My husband came when he was 17 years old. We met when he was 20 yrs and we married a year later. We have now been married for 7 years in june of this year.He has learned our language gone to our schools and is trying to adapt to our ways. He is a good person that came looking for that American dream a dream that most of us Americans don’t take advantage of. If it wasn’t for those immigrants that risk their lives crossing the desert “who would work our fields and pick our fruits?” Not the Americans… We have all these people wanting to change laws for the better but the only thing that they are doing is breaking up families and leaving less people to work their fields. Jobs that most Americans won’t take. It’s sad that the people we trust to govern our country feel the need to remove immigrants, that obviously came here looking for work to better their selves and families. Being illegal doesn’t make you a criminal.
Grand Rapids, Michigan

I moved to the US when I was 15 years old with my parents and my two brothers. We were all young and it was not our decision to come here. We were very lucky to come here with a Visa. After graduating from High School I realize it wasn’t going to be easy to go to college because I didn’t have a green card, and also because I had a baby girl when I was 18 years old. But my parents pushed me hard and paid out of pocket for my school. Since school is expensive and I couldn’t apply for a loan it took me forever to finish school. I met my husband about 6 years ago and he helped me out to get my green card. I am now the first one in the family to become a Us citizen and I’m helping my parents out to get their green card too. I wish I could do more for my brothers because they are not legal yet. Specially my 16 year old brother who is an honor student and wants to become an engineer. He has so much potential and it will be sad if he has to delay his education because of his Immigration status. I am now 27 and I have two beautiful kids and still going to college. It is very hard to raise a family, work and go to school at the same time, but i think that at the end it will all be worth it.
Long Branch, New Jersey

I was brought here at the age of six. My family was dispersed at the time. I hated the thought of leaving my mom and grandmother alone but being promised to be closer to my father drew my attention. Now we’re all together except for my grandmother that I miss every day. I am a 3.2 gpa student, very high in rank of my class but I don’t feel in place. Every one that thinks they know about “illegal” immigrants thinks that our existence is a crime. But I see a window of opportunity here.
Napoleon, Ohio

My husband came to the United States when he was 3 illegally and started high school but he discontinued because he was told that because he’s an immigrant he wouldn’t even have a chance to go to college. We got married 2 years ago and started his immigrant paper work last year. They told us he needed to go back to Mexico in order for him to fix properly and get all of this done. This was the hardest decision we have ever had to make because we knew we would have to be separated. He went to Mexico barely knowing any Spanish and had to start over by himself. We finally got the appt in Juarez and boom they deny him just like that. Then they told us to wait for their decision. After 6 more months they finally make a decision to deny him and the reason? He’s “affiliated with a criminal organization.” What? We’re thinking its because he has tattoos but he’s never been in a gang related and he has no criminal record at all. This is the worst thing we’ve ever had to go through. And were expecting a baby boy in June. Were so stuck. We want to do this right but it’s almost impossible.
Phoenix, Arizona

My Name Is Olga And I’m 18 years young. My parents brought me to the United States in the fourth grade. I was around 10. Then when I was around 12, my parents took me back to Mexico, then we all came back when I was like 13. My life Has been hard, moving back and forth from Mexico to the United States, leaving friends, family, and memories behind every time my parents decided to move. Never feeling accepted, always feeling foreign, feeling like I never fit in anywhere. Then when I was 15 I got pregnant from my boyfriend after being in a relationship for one year. I became a teenage mother when I was 16. Ever since I’ve been taking care of my daughter with the man of my dreams. Now my daughter is a year and half and I graduated high school last year. Now I just stay home and take care of my daughter while my boyfriend works. He can’t afford to pay for me to go to college and I can’t work because I don’t have a social. We live with my parents and sometimes I get really depressed because I feel like I’m stuck at a place where I can’t do nothing with my life but sit and watch everybody else going to school, getting a job, getting a drivers license. Me and my boyfriend are getting married in a month and I would really love to get my papers one day but I don’t want to get deported in the process because i have a daughter that needs me.
Fresno, California

I’ve been living here in the USA since I was 16 years old. I am now 26 and I have found a wonderful lady whom I love and I want to marry her and give her a good future. I recently told her I was here illegally and she is scared and we had a big fight because of it. She loves me and she wants to stay with me, but we want to have a future together and I cannot give it to her. I wish I knew how to fix this. It breaks my heart that I most likely have to leave her so that she can have a good happy future with someone who can give it to her.
Richmond KY

I was brought as a child from Mexico and I only know it from pictures and video. Never have I set a foot in Mexico since I was brought illegally. It wasn’t my decision, I was just a baby. My dad has been breaking his back all his life for my family. Sometimes he tells us of how hard it was to survive due to being an immigrant. He picked fruit, worked in a ranch and construction. I’m very lucky to have him as my dad. Even though we are immigrants and life is harder we have to open doors for ourselves not close them. Everything is NOT impossible. I’m turning 20 and going back to college this fall with the help of GOD.
Houston Texas

I was brought here when I was 2 by a coyote illegally and raised in Houston and Oklahoma City. When I was growing up I didn’t feel “illegal”. Hell I still don’t consider myself anything but American. I am now 27 years old. I was deported 3 years ago to Honduras, and let me tell you it wasn’t a walk in the park. hey deported me on a plane-ride that took about 6 hours. I struggled for a year while my mom and friends got some money together so I could come back the only way I could, “illegally”. I had to cross Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States all illegality, trying to catch the “train of death”, but that is another story that would take too long to write about. Now I am back and I see things in a different way. I am all about making a future for myself and my family. So what I want you to get from my story is don’t wait to get deported to open your eyes. You need to make something for yourself however you can.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I was born in Dallas, Texas – have graduated high school and currently enrolled in college. My husband came into to this country at a mere 10 years of age with his mother. Both anxious to find a window of opportunity – escaping a cycle of abuse and poverty. In 2001 they arrived in Dallas TX, where my husband has graduated from the same high school as I did, and continued on to earn his Pastry Chef certificate. Now he is 22 years old, married and with a 7 month old daughter. We have been married for a year now, and until recently have been able to save up to begin the process of his legal status in the US. A week ago we went to a consultation with an case worker – where she informed us to wait on a status of a bill. This bill (not sure the name) is supposed to help in a sense that when he returns to his “home” country – he does not have to stay and wait for the approval.
Dallas, TX

My husband left Sunday morning to go back to El Salvador to go and finish his paper work for Immigration. He was going by bus through Mexico then take another bus to El Salvador. He got detained at the border going into Mexico. I have called all of the immigration detention centers in Laredo Texas and I have was put on hold and no one ever came back to help me. We live in Virginia so it’s hard for me to go and ask about his case. I am trying to find out if a hearing has been set for him and no one has answered me. I am an American citizen and we are legally married.
Alexandria, Virginia

I came to United States in 2010 because my cousin was killed by an American citizen. I was granted a B2 visa. After a year, I was out of status. Then I got a job working at a gas station. I have been working for 3 months, and recently, someone came and beat me up endlessly. I called 911 and they asked me if I want to press charges or not. I told them I don’t know yet. I am afraid to tell them yes because am an illegal immigrant, and they might deport me.

My wife from Colombia is in a final deportation order since 2004 when she was only 19, all because her dad filed an asylum that was denied. We are a married couple since 2005 and have 2 girls. My wife does not have any type of criminal record. She has a job as a Store manager. Her father and mother now are US citizens unable to help in the mess they put their kids into. As a US Citizen I cannot believe that I can’t help my own family to stay together in my own country.
Miami, Florida

In 1997 I met a handsome man from Mexico City, He was in the country illegally and asked me to marry him. Then came the endless paperwork to get him his green card. That took 3 years. Then he got the idea to buy a home in Tijuana since he could now cross the border legally. He has paid cash for this house and bought 2 more lots of land and sunk all his money into this halfway finished home. I realize now that he had planned this from the first time he laid eyes on me. I am sick but can’t get money for a Dr. I will be not be alive much longer. I am stuck here 18 hours a day all alone and get yelled at or hit when he comes home. My advice to any beautiful American girl is if a handsome Mexican walks up to you to try to become friendly in any way, RUN AWAY IMMEDIATELY! I can’t even afford to get to the border or to divorce him. My life is doomed because I was stupid enough to show empathy for a Mexican man.
Tijuana Mexico

My parents brought me here when I was 4 years old. I’m 17 years old right now and I’m about to graduate. I will be the first one out of my family to graduate from high school. I really do want to go to a college. But the bad thing is since I’m a immigrant I can’t get financial aid and that means that I’m gonna have to work to be able to afford it. Also my parents think that I can’t really go to college since I’m a immigrant. They want me to just go to work and forget about college. I’ve been here most of my life this is the only place that I can call home. I am used to living in the U.S.A. I think if I would go to Mexico it would be weird and hard getting used to it. I wish that I could have been born here but I’m not.

I met my husband 6 years ago and married 4 years ago. I have a step daughter in Salcaja, Totonicapan Guatemala. M y mother in law and my 4 sisters in laws are there also. My oldest brother in law just went back….glory to God he is in the process of getting legalized but they sent him back as a part of the process. We are learning each day that there is a lot of crime going on in their town. Just this last month an elderly man was tortured and murdered, and 2 weeks ago another elderly couple was also tortured horribly and then murdered. They were not victims of robbery just pure evil. My brother in law Mario is horrified. We had to send him money several times to help him and our family buy 2 guns and ammunition to defend themselves. We don’t know when he will be able to come back but also what will my mom and sister in laws do after. My dad and 4 brothers in law are here with my husband without papers. We are doing everything we can to help them in Guatemala. No one person here in the US could possibly understand what the Hispanic community goes through on a daily basis. As an American I am asking you to read this tiny glimpse into the heart breaking suffering world of our neighbors who are looking for a safe place and help from us. Open your eyes and your hearts to help the people who are truly in need of help and prayer. I understand and see because I live and share the responsibility, sadness, frustration, fear, anger, tears, everything. Please help those in need, at the least try to understand them. We are blessed in abundance, we have a responsibility to share that. The next time you see a Hispanic walking or driving or in the store instead of judging them imagine what they could be suffering through, their worries, their hardships. God bless not only the US but the entire world.
Rutherfordton, NC

I am currently in high school in the tenth grade. I came to the U.S. from Mexico illegally when I was 3. I don’t remember anything about Mexico. I have lived most of my life here. I am a very good student. I always get very good grades. I have never gotten into any kind of trouble. My family is proud of me. I sometimes get sad ,if not mad of how the kids around me waste their education. They skip, disrespect the teachers, they don’t pay attention or let others pay attention, they just don’t care! It annoys me because they have so many opportunities to prosper and get prepared for college when others, like me, have to struggle to even get into a good college.
Rockford, IL

I am eighteen years of age. I was five years old when I moved to the United States from my hometown in Mexico. Now, I am applying to college and have a GPA of 3.5. I just want to say that there are those who are fortunate enough to live a happy and free life, but happiness can sometimes come with sacrifices. It is unfair, everyone out there deserves a chance for a better life…everyone.
Glendale, Arizona

I’m 19 and I was brought to the US when I was 7 years old, I was born in Costa Rica. I left the US recently, about 5 months ago, because I couldn’t get into a big college since they asked for social security and stuff like that and I also left because I didn’t see much opportunity since there’s a whole lot of laws against illegal immigrants. Now I’m suffering here because college here is too different and I have no other way back.
Carrollton, TX

I am a US citizen. My husband is from Mexico. We have been married for almost 14 years . He was arrested for unpaid traffic tickets. We paid the tickets and he was being released until immigration went to the jail and took him to the immigration jail . I got a lawyer and they helped us start the process to fix his papers but when he went to court he was given voluntary deportation and all this was for traffic tickets. He is not a criminal.
Houston TX

My son got in trouble with the law for defending himself when someone bothered him and the aggressor got away with it as they are financially better off. My son is American born and raised but was held in jail as they insisted that he was wanted by immigration to be deported. He is of Indian European descent but second generation American. He was interrogated continuously and treated like garbage. The only ID he has is a drivers license as we are in the process of moving and misplaced his documents. I had to convince them to allow me to give them my documents to be able to free my son. Btw the person they were looking for was older and from Guatemala. Not even close. If an American can be treated with such disrespect then I can clearly see how they treat those from other countries. America is a bully and treats immigrants like garbage. I am truly sorry for the way immigrants are treated here. Immigrants take any job because they are hard working and want a better life. It’s Americans that need to take example and stop whining. I can’t feel help but feel embarrassed of being an American.
Queens, NY
I never knew my father came from Mexico. He got my birthmother pregnant and then left and I never knew him or seen a picture. My Birthmother gave me out for adoption when I was born. I am still trying to find them but its hard and I need references on how to do that because my birthfather was an illegal immigrant.
Pocatello, ID

Growing up I didn’t understand what being from Mexico was all about. I didn’t think we were different from anyone else. Yeah we spoke Spanish at home, but at school it was all English. I didnt know I was illegal until I was 16 years old. I thought I had been born here. My mother only told me because I was graduating High School a year early and I was going to apply for college. It hurt me to know all my hard work was for nothing. I cannot get a license, ssn. Basically I can’t get nothing. I got caught driving without a license about 5 months ago. They took me to jail for three days. I thought they was going to deport me. But no instead I have a year to go back to Mexico. Which I know nothing about….. I don’t have anymore family down there. Everyone is here illegally. I don’t know what I’m going to do. All my life all I’ve known is here. Please continue to fight for us illegal immigrants. Everyone deserves a chance right?
Fresno, California

My dad is an illegal and it’s really hard. He has been here more than 20 years and I really think that if you been here for a while you should get an opportunity to get your green cards and papers. I’m 17 and me and my family hide my father when they come. We are all so scared that one day he won’t come back.
Brownwood, Texas

I am as some would say the typical immigrant. I was brought into this country at age 3 and now am about to turn 19. I’ve known no other place than my home in Houston. Even though I have graduated top 10 percent in my high school, it’s still difficult to go to community college due to financial aid stupidity, lack of transportation, and parents whose paychecks hardly cover the rent and other expenses. And not to mention how hard it is to find a job… I just wish I could help my parents in some way somehow financially. I still look forward to a better future but I can have some comfort knowing my little sister who was born here isn’t going to go through these hardships I am going through right now.
Erick Perez
Houston, Texas
I have a sister whose lives in the Dominican Republic. She wasn’t supposed to be born there. Because of my mother’s ignorance she went out there at 8 months pregnant. Later she came back to the US with out claiming her. My sister is now 26 and my mother passed away 10 yrs ago of AIDS. Now am trying to make things right by trying to prove that my mom is a citizen so my sister can come home because she doesn’t have no family there.
Buffalo, NY
I am a citizen here in the United States. I am part Mexican. I just hate how people treat Mexicans like if they were some criminals, or did something bad. Mexicans come here to have a better life, support themselves, and their family. Some of them get deported for no reason, and when they have their family and kids they have to separate them. Wouldn’t you feel bad, sad, mad if they took the people you love away from you? They come for a better opportunity and then if both parents are illegal and get deported the children get sent to foster care.

My name is Emily Campbell and I’m married to an illegal Mexican. We have been together 4 years and married 3 years. I have two wonderful cute sons and I’m very happy to have such a wonderful family. I know a lot of people do not like the fact that illegal Mexicans come to the USA, but I wish those people could understand that some of this immigrants have no other choice but to come here.
Kent, WA

My husband was only 17 years old when he left his family to come here and find work so he could help his family. I complained about making min wage at taco bell and here he was working for 4 to 5 dollars an hour in the hot sun picking fruit. At one point he worked three jobs to just be able to pay his rent. I tell you all when I met this special man that gave me my beautiful angels my life changed. I now realize I don’t have it as bad as A LOT of others around the world. I wish that those who hate Mexican immigrants could just open their eyes and see that some of these people are just trying support their family and if you’d open your eyes wider you could see that if they have to leave everything they know and love just to come here. I’m not trying to say that its right for all these people to come where illegally but I’m trying to say that we should not make it so impossible for those that are here to work and pay taxes like everyone else to get their papers.
No name given
Federal Way, WA

Life as a immigrant involuntarily has put a complete stop in my life. Brought to the U.S from Mexico by my parents after only 3months from turning 3 years old, we came to live a better life. Sadly nothing came out the way my parents had planned. They divorced only 1-2 years after getting here leaving me and my mom alone moving from place to place because it was so hard for my mom to find a job since she was only 22 at the time and with no english. She re-married a few years later with my step dad and has 3more kids (all citizens). Me and my step dad have NEVER had the best relationship knowing that I’m not his child. I’ve been degraded, humiliated and just put down to an extend that my life has been a living hell. I went to school my whole life here, I didn’t have the best grades but I didn’t have bad ones either. I never flunked, don’t have any kind of criminal record at all. I don’t know what to do anymore, I can’t work, I can’t go to school because it’s too expensive, I literally can’t do ANYTHING with my life. I’m stuck in a hell whole depending on my step dad all because I was brought to the US when I was a child to have a “better life”. I would leave to Mexico, but I know of no one to go to over there and as bad as things are over there now (cartel wars) I would be living worse, maybe even dead….but then again if you can’t do anything with your life and you have nowhere to go with no kind of help, what ARE you supposed to live for?…..I’m 20 going on 21 this year, and being an immigrant has ruined my life…..
Jonathan C.
Houston, TX

My husband, Hugo, came to the US when he was 19 years old. He came here to work, and earn a living. After awhile, he decided if he was going to live here, he should learn to speak English, so he did. He got a job and worked hard. When he was 30, he met me, a US Citizen. We hit it off immediately and I enjoyed learning about him, his family and his culture. However, he was very Americanized, as he had spent his entire adult life in the US. We got married in 2007, and not long after that, we were expecting our first child. Unfortunately, it was not in God’s plans for us to have our baby girl and she passed away after being born at 23 months. Hugo is the only reason I survived such a traumatic experience. In 2009, we finally welcomed a healthy baby boy. During this time, we decided it would be best for Hugo to get his papers so we would never again have to fear that he would be removed from the country. Let me tell you this…if I knew then what I know now, I don’t think I would have EVER let Hugo apply for immigration. I would have waited it out. Not only has he been away from my child and me for almost ten months, but we have no way of knowing WHEN he will be able to come home. All of this, and he left VOLUNTARILY. He wasn’t behaving like a criminal and picked up and deported. We chose to do this…and it feels like the US Consulate is sure taking their sweet time to process our papers. Is our system really so broken that we can’t even have the luxury of a website that provides a timeline, or a queue where we can view when our loved ones case will be decided on? In the meantime, my child and I are suffering financially and emotionally. We are alone here, trying to fend for ourselves, while my husband sits helpless in a country he has never even known as an adult. We have no one to contact for help and we are constantly told, the documents will be reviewed in the order received. I guess my point to this rant is this…wait, don’t apply until you know for sure your loved one doesn’t have to leave the country for the waiver process.
Carson City NV
I came to United States when I was 6 years old. now I’m 20 & pregnant but my boyfriend is an American citizen..after I graduated from high school I didn’t really realize that I couldn’t do much with my life because I’m an illegal. I sometimes fall into depression. I try not to but it’s hard not feeling hopeless. I can only pray that some kind of hope
Tampa, FL

My younger brother and I were brought to the United States before the fall of 1995. We went to school and graduated from high school and we have both attended our local community college. Our mother started building a family before she brought us over. Our sister is going to turn 21 in about four years which means she will be at the age when she can petition for our mother, my brother and I. Unfortunately, after doing lots of research, I found out that the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 will make it impossible for us to change our status within the US because we have been living in the US for about 17 years unlawfully. This means that if I want to get my status fixed, I will have to travel back to Mexico to finalize the process. Unfortunately, the immigration law of 1996 imposes a harsh 10-year bar against those who have been in the country unlawfully for over a year. From my understanding, once I’m in Mexico and I try to finish the immigration process, I’m certain that US Immigration Officials will do a background check and find out that I have been living in the United States for many years and will prevent me from apply or entering the US for at least 10 years. To make it worse, even though my brother and I were brought into the United States unwillingly when we were minors, it does not change a thing so we are stuck been illegal unless we go back to Mexico or an immigration reform is passed (which I doubt will happen any time soon) that will get rid of the harsh 3 to 10-year ban.
I need to correct the misconception that having a social would make life easier. It doesn’t!! I am 36 years old and came here legally through my parents then got stuck because of bureaucratic nonsense. I’ve been here since I was 7. It took a long time just for me to get an Associate Degree and I have no idea how long it will take me to finally get a Bachelors and on to a Masters. It’s hard to move forward with your life when you don’t have the funds and/or proper paperwork to live like a normal American. I have become somewhat isolated because I don’t want to explain this to new people and the friends that I have don’t understand why things have taken so long for me to have the life of my dreams. Don’t get me wrong, my friends and family are amazing, but they’re fortunately not in my shoes. They can’t really relate to the pain I’m feeling and the struggles that has come my way. I believe in God and know he can do great things, but that has not prevented me from falling into depression. I’ve been waiting too long to start my life and I’ve been contemplating suicide because I don’t know what else to do besides wait. I had a work permit years ago and when it was time for me to get a green card, it was denied because they said I aged out. These freakin’ people moved my paperwork to the wrong place, which delayed progress for me and did not rectify the situation nor take responsibility for messing up. I should have already been a citizen because my parents did everything that was legally required. A few years ago, my father filed an I-130 for me so once again I’m waiting. It’s basically starting over when what I need to become a citizen after being here since age 7.
No name given
Atlanta, Georgia
19 years, that’s how long it’s been since my move to the U.S. Like other parents, mine brought me here seeking for a brighter future. America has been my country and is the only country I can remember, playing basketball in the park, strolling the mall with friends or attending high school, these are the things America has given me. Though I’m not an American by law, I consider myself one. The hardest thing I’ve had to endure is watching my friends go to universities after college, drive cars and get jobs, while I’m stuck home watching my brother. It really gets to me emotionally; it feels like I’m trapped, even though this country has given me more freedom than imaginable. I hope and pray to all the girls and boys who are in the same situation as me. Stay strong and be thankful for what America has given to us.
Portland, Oregon

I am a Mexican descendant born U.S. citizen. My wife is a Mexican immigrant. We have two U.S. born citizen children. I’m in the process making it legal for her but I’m kind of afraid that if we process paperwork she will not be able to comeback for a long while. I have always encouraged my wife of being proud to be in the United States. I always tell both of my sons about the greatness of being American. I hate it when people wave a Mexican flag in our country. To me is like biting the hand of who feeds you. Or it’s like betraying a mother that raised you when you were abandoned by your biological mom. But our representatives in congress are taking care that many of us lose faith and pride of our country.
Felipe Gonzalez
I came to the US when I was 4 and I am 35 now and let me tell you my life is a nightmare. The older you get the tougher it gets especially since I left my mom when I was 14 cause of her drug habit. I moved around the country with no ID, birth certificate or anything that could identify me. My life was a mess. In 1993 I came to Houston and started odd jobs and finally found a place where I feel like I belong but my struggles aren’t over. It’s hard to find a job and when I tried to get my paperwork together. I got nowhere cause the people in the Bahamas asked me questions to which I had no answers. I don’t know nothing but America but everyday could be my last day here and then what where will they send me since I seem to be nobody in the eyes of the government. I would go back to Bahamas and try to come back legally but they don’t recognize me as a citizen either… so only time will tell…Good luck to all of you and let’s hope someone will hear us and do something
Houston, Texas

I am a Hispanic female and I am 16 years old going on to 17 in less than 3 months. I am an immigrant; I came to America when I was 2 years old and I’ve been living here my whole life. I am a very dedicated student and I speak more English than I do Spanish. I cry myself to sleep knowing that I may not be able to finish school if the Dream Act doesn’t get approved. Knowing I can’t get my license, go visit other states, etc. just brings me down. Yes, I know that there are ways like marrying someone but I honestly don’t want to wait for that. What if that time never comes? I want to become someone important in life not just a person that can get thrown out from this country. I’m desperate. I hate living like this.

My father was born in TX. My mom was born in Mexico. My grandmother legally brought her entire family to the USA during the Mexican revolution. I was born in TX in 1936. Whether you are an legal or illegal, you still find problems. I escaped poverty by serving in the military for 26+ years. Still, as an Hispanic, after retirement, and after 162 job interviews, I could not find a job. I finally got hired by the DOD. Today, I am well off. But, to get from then to now was not easy, especially going through 10 years in the military without a promotion and another 10 years with the DOD without a promotion. If you are legal or illegal, you will continue to find problems. A major problem we are facing in the future is when America will say NO MORE amnesty, deport ALL illegal immigrants. Believe me, it will happen.
San Antonio, TX
I came to the United States when I was only six years old from Uzbekistan.I came to a world where the slogan “money grows on trees” exists; where eating a banana everyday was breakfast not on a occasion. If you see me on the street, you’d probably say wow she’s so lucky but if you knew the truth it’s not you’d expect. I came to America with my parents and brother for a better future where your nationality and religion wasn’t an issue. Just because I came from Uzbekistan doesn’t make me that nationality, to be honest nothing that deals with that country makes me who I am today. My parents were abused for not being Muslim, my brother has scars on his face from kids picking on him for being Russian. My story starts where I was woken up at 6:07 a.m. of last year by ICE. My family has wasted over $70,000 for the past twelve years on lawyers who said they will legalize but never did. We were taken into custody and now I am 18 years old with no future, no job, and no money. I am depended on my parents who barely make it paying bills. Just because I wasn’t born here doesn’t mean I’m not an American. I was raised here & experienced my whole life here. Now that I am 18, I have nothing but to wait for someone who will hear me out and give me a chance to live my life, not being haunted by my parents nationality and religion.
No name given
My parents brought me here from Europe when I was five and I thank them everyday for that. They have worked their butts off all my life and still do. I am about to leave high school and I don’t know what to do. I keep thinking what will happen to me if I have to “go back”. I don’t have anything and all I known is America. I actually thought I was alone in this until tonight when I found this website. All I can do is hope now.
No name given
Chicago, Illinois


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