Growing up, I couldn’t escape from hearing stories about kids going home from school one day, only to find out their parents were in the process of being deported. I feared one day my mother won’t be outside of my school waiting for me to walk home with her. I feared one day my father won’t come home from working all day long to come have dinner with us. I feared one day my sister won’t come home from school along with me.
It’s not a rare worry to have when you are the daughter of immigrants though. Diane Guerrero was 14 years old when her parents were deported. She has a story I fear for everyday of my life. To think that I am 16 years old and could end up without my family one day makes me sick.
It’s not just the worry of being without my family that makes it hard for immigrant families. Getting an actual good education can be extremely difficult. Many students choose not to apply for big name schools to not draw attention to their family’s situation. It’s a sacrifice many are willing to make though.
To light up situations like these, it’s good to think about the few positive aspects of being a part of an immigrant family. My dad constantly pushes my sister & I to continue our education because he knows what we’re capable of. “I work to give you and your sister an education. I can’t leave you guys an inheritance behind. All I can give you to cherish forever is knowledge,” he reminds us every day. “It’s all going to be worth it in the end.” He pushes us so we can show those who think so lowly of immigrants that we’re just as passionate and dedicated about our education. Where we come from does not define that.
Being a part of a family that fears being separated allows us to cherish our moments as a family even more. We live every day to the fullest just in case that is taken away from us one day.
And to those who left their homeland seeking for a better life for yourself and your families, thank you. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed.