05 March 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Irony

Today was a busy day. After another job interview, Chan and I met with a journalist who is writing a story about DREAM Act youth moving to Canada.

I don’t particularly like engaging journalists–my immigration story is so complicated and infuriating that I don’t like talking or thinking about what I have had to endure and explaining it to others. It’s all available on the web anyway in several different versions. But this might look slightly different.

I let on the greatest irony of my life: I am an immigrant youth leader and organizer who has helped lay the foundation of a national movement to grant undocumented youth legal status in the United States but who would prefer not to spend a single second in this country. So why work so hard and risk my life for something I don’t even want? Maybe it has to do with social justice or maybe the fact that most of my friends are undocumented. But there is some anger here too: if I can work so hard for a cause that I don’t really want to benefit from, why are others sitting on the sidelines, especially those who do want to live in the United States and cannot see their lives elsewhere?

We can’t force the “coming out” process but how do we build and grow as a movement with people who are cowering in fear? I don’t do fear–living on the safe side is so boring and limiting, it stymies your growth and potential. And I absolutely refuse to bow to the multiple systems of oppression that drew a line in the law, thereby separating my parents and my sibling from me. This country broke up my immediate family. So I went and created a much bigger family. But now I want an immediate family of my own.

It’s been a crazy week. From pharmacists harassing me for identification to not being able to afford the right medication for treatment to unsupportive and ignorant (white) people questioning and attacking my right to organize for my communities. I even lost 6 pounds but I am really unhappy because I got banned from going to the gym, which works in a circular fashion because if I cannot work out my frustrations, I am just going to be more unhappy.

The only upside of the week was that I probably made some people smile and laugh, and inspired many more.  And I did have a couple great job interviews with some nice people.

Next week: Decision time

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