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As graduation approaches many things come to perspective; what will happen after graduation, grad school, medical school, or just simply getting a job for the summer? One thing is clear, advancement is necessary. It’s not just about me, the individual but my family too. The uncertainty of what’s next is ten times heavier when my parents’ future is in flux. What will happen to my undocumented parents? With many of the changing policies, it is not clear what will happen to our parents. This makes it difficult to know my own response as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) student.

My parents came to the United States 17 years ago escaping poverty and political chaos in their home country. They endured a change in culture, alienation, and starting from zero to be able to give their children a better education, a better future. They have been prepared to handle the consequences to coming to the United States without documents for the majority of these 17 years. What they had not prepared for is the worry their children would take on once they understood the complicated situation.

Staying busy (school, work, community engagement)  is an easy way to not think about the things that could go wrong with a change in policy or policies. Reflecting on my life and the connection with immigration in the United States is when things do become real and intense for me. Every day I think about the fact that my parents could one day not pick up my siblings from school or take care of us because of their legal status. When Minneapolis and St. Paul became sanctuary cities it created some security because my parents could drive without the worry of being deported for a minor traffic infraction. The political climate is changing with the new administration and at this point it doesn’t matter who makes the decisions, liberals or conservatives, what matters is the safety of my immigrant parents.

What happens if they get sent back to their home country? I then have to become the real adult. I have to take care of my siblings and drop any, if not all plans for graduate school. As I see my friends families being separated by immigration policy I can only think that mine will be next. Thinking that everything will be ok isn’t realistic anymore. The fear weighs me down, but I know it must not be permanent. This state of confusion and fear about the future can only last for as long as I feel helpless.

With the education of a liberal arts college, the tools of many great mentors, and the fire that yearns for social and political justice I can only do what I have learned to do: prepare myself, and advocate socially and politically for change. It isn’t about blaming anyone, but about taking an initiative to start the conversation. I truly believe that our broken immigration system is affecting everyone in our community whether we know it or not. It is time for conversation because we can only fear what we do not understand. The future will come if I fear it or not, but I’d like to be able to at least have hope that my future is tangible and that I will be surrounded by my parents for a very long time.


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