My Name is Jamie and I am an Undocumented American

[This week’s DREAM Act guest post comes from Jamie, who already has a BA and an important message of social change and action for all of us. Visit to find out how you can help pass the DREAM Act].

I was brought here like many other undocumented students at a young age. My sister and I lived in East LA for a short time until we moved to a better part of Los Angeles. Unlike some others, I did know about my legal status from a very young age. Because of this situation, I was constantly living in fear of being exposed and was very shy as a result of it. I can truly say that living in the shadows of society has an effect psychologically. It feels like I am always hiding something from people that I wish I didn’t have to. Despite these challenges I still have the ambition to prove to myself and others that we Dreamers can still get ahead in life.

I have noticed throughout this time that not only am I in the same situation as many others but I also have built the same character as them. We share the same ambitions to prove wrong to those that doubt us, to be something more than a stereotype we have been portrayed in the media. I learned to stop feeling sorry for myself and pick myself up from this mental prison we have all been placed in. Ironically in many ways it has made me stronger to deal with challenges in life. My hope is that it doesn’t beat me to the ground.

The DREAM Act is currently the only hope we all have. Thanks to Senators like Richard Durbin (IL), we have a voice. Although I have a college degree and a mind that rivals others, it is standing idle. I can’t get a job; I can’t get an ID or travel outside the country. It’s the things that are taken for granted that affect my life the most. I am tired of seeing my “legal” friends move on in life to better jobs, new experiences, and better opportunities while I watch them go. In the past years the DREAM Act has failed several times and each time our hope has been brought down.

This time I am taking action and I urge all others to do the same. We can’t stand aside and watch the opposition make calls to senators and get active while we stand around and feel sorry for ourselves. Action is the word to live by, nothing in history has been changed without someone taking action. So we must do the same and make the calls, send the emails, etc. I urge everyone to get up and do anything they can because I believe this time it is the last time we can really make a change.

(Photo credit: CSUN DREAMS to be Heard)

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