How it feels being undocumented in Trump’s America

How I came to terms with his win

I am one voice amongst millions, I know that I cannot speak on the behalf of this entire community, but I can voice my own personal experience.

I am one of the millions of undocumented students living in the United States. On the evening of November 9th, 2016, I realized just how far I had come in life, with all of my successes as well as defeats. On that same night, I simultaneously realized just how easily my life here could deteriorate. That night was a restless one, consisting of several phone calls and texts from friends and family, such as when one of my best friends attempted to invoke comfort in me: “just checking in on you to make sure you’re okay and to let you know I love you and I’m here for you…”

Then there were those friends that had me weeping in agony, “I want to go somewhere and cry, I’m scared for my family and my future. I don’t know what to do, I’m just scared.”img_1590

Once this image of a Trump presidency came into view, I had lost hope. I felt as my heart dropped to my stomach, and suddenly all of these events I’ve experienced throughout my life came rushing through my head. This marked the collapse of my persona. I never expected this, I don’t think any of the people I know personally expected it. It was a moment of despair and I remember staying silent for a while as I was left speechless. The first thing that came into mind was my family and how the repercussions of this election were going to affect us. I realized just how vulnerable I really am, I am privileged to be here after all and now I understand why so many people in the same situation as I have been living their lives to this point with constant worry.  fullsizerender-4

With these elections results, my family and I felt exploited, we weren’t able to grasp just how the system could have betrayed us so mercilessly. I became angry and disappointed at the fact that my parents had sacrificed everything in order to come to a land that they deemed full of opportunity, all for this person to come along, promising to demolish everything we have built over the years. Although this event has surged into our lives negatively, my family and I have taken a vow to remain strong and retain our willpower. The next day after the results of the election, I realized that it was a new day, I no longer felt enveloped within the darkness of that evening. I woke up to my dad’s message of hope and optimism:

“I know that yesterday was a bad day for us, and that surely you couldn’t sleep just like I was unable to. However, I want to pass on my thoughts of optimism to you, in order to keep in mind that you shouldn’t worry for what may possibly come, as long as we are united and play our role in this life. I know that perhaps these words won’t be able to change your perspective but this is how I feel, it’s the feeling that we should continue to work hard and we should always try to be triumphant with our efforts and courage in order to fight for our interests and ideas. Today is a new day, and tomorrow will be too.”

I will not allow this feeling to fade away and I feel more empowered now than ever to fight for what is right. If anything good came out of this election, it’s that it is serving as a wake-up call for us, to fight for the change that needed to be made years ago. It has united not only the undocumented community, but every community that stands to face the consequences of this potential presidency. I will not stand to live in fear because truthfully, I am not committing any crime, on the contrary, I am one of the millions of people who are the future of this country.

UC Irvine