Jessica Dominguez, DACA Recipient
I did not know that I was different until a few months before my high school graduation. My classmates showed excitement and eagerness for the new journey they would soon embark. Everyone discussed the future career paths they would take and all the wonderful plans they would have once college started. The more I heard about their plans, the more I lost hope. But at the same time, I knew that I would reach my goals and create a successful future despite the fact that I was different from them.
I did not have the most remote idea of how I would be able to attend college. The only thing I was certain about was that I would achieve my goal of graduating. At that point, I also learned that I was a stranger in the land I called home. I adjusted to the American way of life, but until then I was oblivious to the fact that a piece of paper was what would determine the type of future I would have. Reality slapped me across the face to remind me that I was not welcomed in the very same place I called home.
Fortunately, before crossing that stage, I found a university that supported undocumented students like myself. My goal to receive a higher education was turning into a reality. During my first year of college, I met students who were facing the same obstacles as I was. At that moment, I did not feel so alone anymore. I felt like I belonged.
From there on, things started to improve. DACA took place. My opportunities increased each and every day. I was able to graduate from a private university and landed a job at a nonprofit. I’m a contributing member of society. A simple piece of paper finally made me feel less of a stranger in the land I was raised in.
Now, all that I have accomplished is soon to be snatched away. I feel rejected by the land I consider home. I’m denied what I have worked for without a valid justification. I feel as though all that I have accomplished is not enough proof to show that I’m only trying to reach my American Dream.
I have a clean record but I am still labeled as a criminal. I contribute to this nation but that’s not enough to give me the right to remain here. So my question then is, what’s the true definition of justice? What happened to equality? What happened to fairness? For a moment I thought this was the land of the opportunity, but I think that’s just an orchestrated lie.
This situation infuriates me. But do I not have the right to be angry, because in the eyes of many I am still undeserving of what I have worked for. In the eyes of many, I’m not an equal. Despite my accomplishments, I’m still illegal.
Memphis immigration Project exists to inspire everyone, everywhere to love their Immigrant neighbor.