When I was eight, I crossed the border using my cousin’s papers. In other words, I came to this country pretending to be someone I’m not.
I went through life acting as if I was just another average citizen even though I’m undocumented.
The act was hard, given that my legal status was such a huge part of my life. UC Berkeley was the first school in the nation to support undocumented students, and it’s where I stopped pretending about my legal status.
I began to truly believe I was undocumented and unafraid, as the chant goes. But that’s changed since Donald Trump commanded the national spotlight.
At UC Berkeley, it’s become increasingly dangerous for undocumented students who are outspoken. Last June, I received an anonymous email threat. It began with the words, “This university should be ashamed to have someone like you.”
Because of the fear of deportation, undocumented immigrants like me feel more silenced than ever.
I graduate this May, and I’m worried that work and plans for law school might become impossible under this administration. I refuse, however, to return to the shadows in fear.
I refuse to pretend to be anyone but myself any longer.
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