OPINION: ‘I AM AN IMMIGRANT, I AM NOT WELCOME’

MARIA MANGUIA CORTES, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER

When you put a cap on who can dream then America is not really all that free. Immigration is an ever-growing topic of conversation in the United States. However, this country should not forget that it is and was made up of us, immigrants.

This country is not united, it is not whole — historically it was broken, pieces stolen and others destroyed. Do not dare call this country whole and uniquely American, when the pieces of it are from across the globe, pieces that some people in America refuse to accept.

Migration is a part of nature, like butterflies we float from place to place until we land and feel like we are home. And those of us that live in America are all beautifully different like those butterflies. Who has the right to decide who can live and be free? A dreamer is not just someone who looks like me.*

I am not the perfect immigrant. I work, I study, I give, I love, I can pour all of me out, but some will still find a reason to hate me. Why should I have to fight and plead to be here? Others that have migrated here to find their home include the man that works in the sun, wakes up before dawn, and hugs me when I am home and loves me harder when I am gone.

Papa, you are the Dreamer. You dreamed for me before I even knew how. And the stars, the sky, the world is mine because of you Mami. You told me to fight the good fight for what I deserve.

You taught me to love the world before hating it even when it made you cry. Everything I am living through now, you dreamed of for me even before I could see it, or before I could speak.

Mami and Papi, you are the ultimate Dreamers. You cut your wings so I could fly, and I will soar. To the world, to this country, remember we come from many different places. Do not tell me that I cannot fly, because these wings, these wings are mine. And just a reminder, the sky is not yours. It is made for us to fly. And watch me soar. Watch me.

*NOTE: A Dreamer refers to a young person brought to the United States as a child without documentation. The child then qualified for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, according to americasvoice.org.

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