As a child, being fearful of law enforcement isn't necessarily normal. Children should look up policemen. This was a reality for me and still very much is. My parents are illegal immigrants from Mexico. This was something I didn't quite understand very well as a child. All I knew is that men with a certain uniform and badge could come into my home and take my parents to jail, I would be forced to live in fear.
As I grew older I began to gain a larger understanding. I became aware of the sacrifices immigrants have struggled through. Leaving their mother, father, uncles, cousins, friends. Leaving all that they know, favorite hangout spots, their local churches and home. Absolutely everything to just maybe gain some opportunities in a free country. Entering the unknown in total oblivion; not knowing the people, the language, etc. Being a subject to racism and scrutiny in a totally new world is scary. I could not possibly fathom entering a whole new world at 15 years old, the age were you are just beginning to figure out your own self.
Having immigrant parents isn't easy. Being raised in the United States you are expected to know absolutely everything, and if you don't your parents ask “don’t they teach you this in school?”, “you know the language, you should know!” Having to make appointments for your parents, asking strangers adult questions in English and being embarrassed. Speaking in Spanish in public with the fear of being discriminated against, “You are in America, speak English or get out of the country” is something that my parents were told. As I grew older I learned how important it is to embrace your culture, I now celebrate being hispanic. My parents never received their education following middle school, but they continued to gain knowledge in the United States. They learned the language and the customs in the states, they had no other choice but to.
My parents will never really understand the importance of GPA and rank, all they know is that 100’s are good. It’s difficult trying to get the best grade possible and not necessarily getting the feedback you thought you would receive. I woke up every morning to an empty home as a 3-5th grader. My parents woke up extremely early to go to their hard labor jobs so I would never get to see them. I was never dropped off by my parents, went to get some breakfast before school, or was accompanied by my parents on “Breakfast with Dad.” I was sad because of this but I knew if my parents could've gone then they would’ve. I now am proud of having such hard working parents.
Hearing about immigrants being deported on the news breaks my heart. Seeing families being torn apart and receiving terrible connotations from ignorant people that judge upon a certain persons message on immigrants makes me sick. For example this quote from President Trump, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They're rapists.” Trumps message on immigrants brings a negative view towards all immigrants. People are so oblivious to the actual aspirations of these people, close minded people continue to believe these things because they refuse to believe anything different.
I believe that with all of the struggles my parents have gone through, they have grown to be such strong individuals. I will be forever grateful for their courage and strength. We will live day by day, as if it was our last time together and be ready for whatever comes our way, and we will handle it with optimism of the future. I believe that everything happens for a reason, even if it might not seem ideal at the time.