Last night, watching las noticias, the news, via Univision, there was a segment that took my breath away. It was a brief report about the Residency Now campaign for Central Americans under the Temporary Protected Status. My heart started racing with that crazy flutter of wings from which hope learns to fly with.
I am the last cynic to break when it comes to immigration reform, but I can’t help to smile when I look at the effort my home country, El Salvador, started last year. Although I have taken an entire year to discover this campaign, the game is just beginning. Should you feel the need to satisfy your curiosity about the effort:
Visit ResidencyNow.org and sign the petition here. The petition is sent straight to your state senator. (Tim Kaine, that means you!)
Like many of the 270,000 Central Americans under the TPS program, my fate has always been uncertain. Having started college in 2011, the limitations of my legal status fully unraveled. Immigration reform is personal now. I can longer find comfort in my tongue being free of accents. I can no longer find comfort in living in my beloved Virginia. I can no longer feel at home in the country that has seen me grow up. I can no longer make the choices that count without consulting my legal status.
Once upon a time, my scholarly spirit saw no question about making it through 4 years of college. Today, that same spirit has lost its glow. I have to remind myself falling apart is no reason not to come back together. I am not a fighter. I am a student. I live for learning. Education means the world to me. I didn’t start college after the 10th grade because of mere impatience.
I also can’t stay at a 2 year community college all my life. I want to go places. I want to know that opportunity is up to me, not a legal document. I want to be responsible for where I go in life. I want to dream. I want to rejoice in the hope that 2013 will be a year of concrete action for all immigrants.