I was undocumented for 13 years then…

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I was an illegal immigrant for 13 years in the US. So now you know someone who lived in this country illegally.

I came to this country when I was six months old. My parents brought me here and raised me to be an American. When I hear all the hate towards undocumented people I am saddened because the undocumented are not here to take jobs away or take advantage of the American welfare system.

Take my family, when we moved here it was because there were no opportunities in their home countries. My father is from Mexico and my mother is from Belize and in the 70’s it was difficult to get ahead in either country if you were poor, uneducated or if you just lacked connections to get ahead.

I grew up in South Central Los Angeles in a neighborhood that was poor and semi-safe. I hated it there- it was limiting, oppressive, and full of ignorance. My ticket out of that place was when I was able to get my green card through the Immigration Reform and Control Act that President Ronald Reagan signed in 1986. That opened up a plethora of opportunities for me- I was no longer afraid to dream and try new things nor were my parents afraid to work honestly and allow me to soar in America.

Some people may say that I should have never been in the US and I broke the law but I was only 6 months old and neither Mexico nor Belize is my home- the US is my home. In all honesty if there are people who do not want undocumented people in the US then the US should have better foreign policies and be the leader in ending poverty and war world wide because those greatly contribute to pushing undocumented people into the US. Ok, so now you know and knowing is half the battle!

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