My name is Alejandra Garcia and I am a Dream Act student. I came to the USA at the age of thirteen. My parents plan was to finally reunite and save enough money to buy a house in Mexico. I saw it as an adventure while my younger brother disagreed with the whole plan altogether. The promise was that we were going to be back home in less than two years. Legend goes, my dad had to come to the USA. I was thirteen and dying, they needed money. He came and broke the USA immigration law to save my life.
Only my mother knew that we were going to be smuggled into the United States. We found out in the Mexico/USA border. It was pitch black when we ventured through the desert in Nogales into the US territory. The smugglers were high on cocaine. They carried guns. They were lost and we had no choice but to follow. The coyotes howled without fear every time closer to us. There were a lot of them, a dozen, a hundred, a thousand. I could not tell because I was too young and afraid to count coyotes in the desert. The moon was as big as a fist. We got near a bunch of trees, other people with other smugglers hiding on the rocks and the grass. The sound of the Border Patrol nearby looking for me, a helicopter cut the darkness with a beam of pure white light. I knew at that moment that I was a criminal. I broke a law but I could not go back. I couldn’t tell my mother to go back. The smugglers were going one direction which was north and we were on their hands until my father paid our release. I was afraid of the police, of the smugglers, of the coyotes and of myself.
Unlike many dreamers, I had always felt like a criminal. I was old enough to know that jumping the fence was not legal. My entry was not sanitized with a passport or a temporary visa and made belief that it was as like forgetting to leave. Still, I could do little about it. I cannot blame my parents either. My father was not my father just the man who conceived me. My brother did not call him dad. It took some time for him to know our birthdays and for my brother to call him dad. Maybe is his fault but he also lost a finger at work and they didnâ€™t even paid his medical bills. His hands are oily and rough. He lost his hand lines working for 1/3 of what a logger earns. I told him that since he has no hand lines, he has no destiny. He is free to make his own. In a way, that is the reality of all immigrants of the US. We lost the destiny we had. We die in the border and someone else was born, someone without destiny.
Well, when I was in high school someone told my mother to enroll me on the 10th grade. It was a mistake and I went to high school when I was supposed to enter the 8th grade. I graduated from HS within the top 15% of my class with a 3.75 GPA without knowing it was good. I took a lot of English classes in College and finally graduated from Communication Design. I am a class away to finish an Economics Degree. The dream of my life is to go to Film School and either become a movie director or a college professor. At times, I give up because it feels impossible. Then I remember how I came to this country: with only the clothes I was wearing, skinny, cold and covered of mud. How did I manage to get a college degree? I don’t know because I am always broke and I do not feel specially bright or talented.
I know that I am better off being an illegal alien in the US than a citizen in any country of the world. Still, why do I have to give up my humanity? Why can someone else have the right to tell me what I am or not? It is not the right to scream that this is my country. It is not. It is a matter of belonging. I study hard to be a better person. I volunteered on a hospital and later worked to increase the wages of our local firefighters. I was paid less than half of what I was supposed to be paid to organize a community to clean its water. Like a foster child that although loves the neglectful mother learned to love by the foster father. It is time, time for the father to admit loving the child without being sneer by the rest of the family. It is time to call the father, father. It is time to call things by their name without anyone having the right to say it isn’t so. This country does not belong to me. I belong to this country