At this moment, I like my legal status is tattooed across my chest because of the way everyone looks at me with pity and sadness. They ask how I’m feeling every five seconds, or they ask if there is anything they can do to help.
Well, no, there is absolutely nothing my privileged white counterparts can do to help. No, I do not want to talk about it. No, I do not need a hug. There is no way anyone can help. Voting was the only way they could have helped, and sadly, many of them let me, and 11 million other undocumented immigrants, down.
Some decided not to vote because they did not agree with either of the two major-partye candidates. But I have a question for you: why do you take your privilege for granted?
I am not allowed to vote. I have lived here most of my life. I obey the laws. Yet I have no voice in this democracy.
I would give anything to stand in line for hours to vote, or to complain about how inconvenient the polling place location is, or to just be able to wear an “I voted” sticker.
Others did not vote for Trump, but instead decided to vote for a third party candidate because they wanted to make a statement or wanted to start a revolution to bring the system down. I understand not wanting to disregard you beliefs and opinions when dealing with politics, but this election was not the one.
In life you have to make sacrifices. This was a crucial one to make. Splitting the democratic party and allowing Trump to win the presidency will negatively affect every minority group.
As an undocumented woman I fear for my safety, future, and education. Under the Trump presidency I am not safe. He has unleashed hate and racism. Radical Republicans will no longer be afraid to express their barbaric views. I will be harassed and openly hated by people on a campus that claims to be “safe and inclusive.” Despite all of my accomplishments, my knowledge and credentials will be doubted all because of my identity.
Trump wants to deport undocumented immigrants and “build a bigger and better wall.” Families will be separated; American children will be without their parents.
Trump has also promised to take away the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order enacted by the Obama administration to give undocumented youth the ability to legally work and drive in the U.S., as well as to temporary protect them from deportation. This executive order is vital in undocumented students’ lives. Many of us have jumped over numerous hurdles put up by the U.S. to get a college education. Without this executive action, our education and degrees will not be valuable because we will not be able to use them. Instead we will be working entry-level jobs just to get by – or taking our degrees and training to other countries..
For those of you who made a sacrifice and voted for Hillary, thank you. Thank you for using your privilege to speak up for people like me, who do not have a voice in this democracy. But please, stop giving us your pity looks and trying to comfort us. You cannot be the heroes in this scenario. We are known to be resilient and powerful people. Our strong sense of family and community will bring us together, and we will organize and protest. We will fight back, and when we do, the only thing you can do is fight with us.
For my undocumented brothers and sisters, don’t give up. Remember that our lack of status does not define us. We matter just as our “legal” counterparts. The system has not defeated us yet. We must be united now more than ever. We need to organize and protest to show America that we are here to stay!
This piece was produced by a student in the Madison365 Academy. It reflects the views of the author, not necessarily Madison365, its staff or its sponsors. To learn more or to support Madison365’s education programs, visit madison365.org/academy.