A letter:

Recently deported immigrant calls on us to stand up NOW

September 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


My cousin is a revolutionary. She asked me to write about my experience being deported. At first I didn’t take her seriously. I guess I didn’t think my story could matter to anybody, but then I heard about how these fuckers ended DACA and I thought—this is not normal.

All my life I’ve lived in fear of deportation. All my life I had to think about things that others don’t have to think about. I have to be especially cautious when driving so I don’t get pulled over to have a cop ask me for a license I didn’t have. I have to avoid certain places known for having checkpoints. I lived in constant fear. It was always in the back of my head almost like it was only a matter of when. When will I be deported? I came to this country when I was 10 years old. I didn’t know English. It was hard to get used to all the changes, and I came up against a lot of racism from my teachers and from my peers. I was treated like I was stupid and I had a lot of anger growing up. I didn’t think my life counted for anything so I got into stupid shit and I got myself a criminal record. Nothing impressive, but enough to stop me from qualifying for programs like DACA.

As I got older I got my life together. I met a woman that challenged me to be a better man and I was ready to start a family, but in an instant my whole life was turned upside down. I was grabbed up by ICE at work. I was lucky that I had a friend to contact my family because when I went to the detention center I learned that many people weren’t even able to tell their families they had been detained. There were people who were there for a long time. It’s basically a prison and you’re treated like you don’t matter for shit. I even met a guy who wasn’t getting his medications that he needed. They didn’t treat us like people and I felt the same way I felt as a teen. An anger coming from realizing that in the eyes of others you don’t count--you’re an animal or worse.

When Trump became the president I was so angry. I just thought back to his comments calling Mexicans rapists and I knew that I had to be even more afraid now. I was angry, but my life went on, and I didn’t do anything to act on my anger. I just felt alone. I knew people were protesting but I didn’t think to be a part of that. Now I wish I had. I thought of my cousin every time I watched the news. I heard her voice telling me to get out there and do something, but honestly I was scared to put myself at risk like that. Now I wish I had done something more. I want to say something to the people who feel the fear that I did. None of us are safe, and we can’t just stay on the sidelines to try and save our own asses because they will come for us. They will come for you like they came for me, and then your life will be thrown away and they will be in control. I think right now people have to get over the fear because if our lives are already at risk, we might as well control the risk. We might as well put ourselves out there to make a difference and see if we can stop this from happening to other people. Not just deportations but all the other shit they are doing to people—to women and Black people, to Muslims and LGBT people. You can’t make excuses to stand aside and not do anything because people’s lives are at stake, and we all need to be brave and stand together for them.




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