12 Things I Learned From Being The Daughter Of Immigrants

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1. “If anyone asks, you’re American. Forget your roots. No one gives a shit about the Mexicans.”

2. Not everyone grew up with the looming fear that they’d come home from school one day to find their parents gone. Not every family was shaken by reports, rumors, and stories of ICE raiding apartment complexes during the middle of the night. 

3. People react to the topic of immigration in three different ways: either they understand, they sympathize, or they show how truly racist they really are.

4. Immigrants and students of color who dare to pursue an education beyond high school and dream of becoming something in life (whether that something is a bank teller, teacher, doctor, actress, city council member) are labeled as sob stories to be ignored. All of their hard work, sacrifice, effort, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears are written off as them having stuff handed to them simply for being born into their race. We’re told that our work is only recognized because we’re poor, because we’re minorities, because our skin isn’t white and our native language isn’t English. 

5. “Guest Worker Program” is code for “We’re going to lie, promise to pay you well and give you decent living conditions, take advantage of your lack of citizenship, and completely screw you over.”

6. Even the people who you want so desperately to support and believe in will not keep their word. Obama promised to push the immigration reform, and then went on to deport immigrants at a faster rate than any other president. 

7. “This is America. We speak English, if you want to speak Spanish you can always go cross the border again.”

8. Immigrants aren’t taking jobs away from hard-working Americans. They’re accepting the jobs that hard-working Americans don’t want to do because of the amount of manual labor they require and the very small wage that comes with it. 

9. People of color who claim they aren’t victims, who state there is no need to fight for rights we supposedly already have, who argue that racism is no longer an issue are people who I do not have the time or the patience for. People of color are no longer enslaved, lynched, or publicly beaten for everyone to watch, but we are still far from obtaining the rights we truly deserve. By refusing to acknowledge the social justice POC deserve, they are robbing future generations of a better life and taking away their chance at (slightly) more equality.

10. Immigrants pay taxes…shocker.

11. “You’re too white to be Mexican. You think you’re better than everyone just because you were born in the States.”

12. There is so such fucking thing as being illegal. Human beings are not illegal, living and breathing is not illegal. There is nothing illegal about wanting to have a better life, nor is there anything greedy about leaving a poverty-stricken small town in a different country for a better shot at being slightly financially stable in a different country. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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