Being Undocumented

Living in fear


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

By Daniela Hernandez, Staff Writer

I was born in Honduras. I came to the United States when I was a year old. I didn’t come on an airplane with a visa. I came through the border with no documents. I was an illegal immigrant.

I lived my whole life in the US. Although I thought of myself as an American, technically I wasn’t. Not having actual documents that stated that kept me from doing American things.

Imagine living in fear, that one day you would receive a knock on your door from a person who would take you away from your family. Imagine living in fear of walking in the streets and an officer asking for your identification. Imagine not being able to go to college because the cost is higher for undocumented kids and there is no way you could be eligible for a scholarship. Imagine not being able to travel to your hometown and visit the rest of your family. Imagine not being able to travel through airports. Imagine not being able to work in many places because they all ask for social security.  Just imagine. Doesn’t seem so great does it?

Luckily, I received my citizenship in 2012. Now, I can do what Americans do. I can vote once I turn 18, I can travel, I can get scholarships, I can get a driver’s license, I can get a job wherever I want.

Illegal immigrants often get the jobs Americans don’t want. They don’t take them because they really want to do it as a career, they take them because they have to feed their families. Plus, if they don’t acquire them, nobody will.

Don’t take your citizenship for granted because many people would do anything for it. That small piece of paper with your social security number means so much. It opens so many doors, but it also closes many doors for the people without it.

I get judged every day. Most civilians won’t even know my former citizenship status, yet I still get looked at critically. Why? Because of the way I look. Because I don’t look like the average American, white with blue eyes and blonde hair. Because I look Hispanic.