By Gaby Pacheco April 20, 2018
Cristina, 19, from Texas born in Mexico
It’s hard to contrast the harsh rhetoric of others, whether politician or member of the public, with what I know to be true. My parents worked hard and made tremendous sacrifices to live on this soil. Once they arrived, they contributed to our economy and social capital day in and day out. Even so, some want laws that would set my family back years, barring them for the life that they’ve poured blood, sweat, and countless tears into. My mom still doesn’t like to talk about our early experiences in this country much. After we arrived in the U.S., I remember sleeping on hardwood floors, shared houses, carpooling. We were lucky to have friends and family to help us. My parents saved money, and bought a home and a car by way of backbreaking work. My parents still worry about being separated from us. Four of my younger siblings are U.S. citizens, so if my parents are deported, they’d be left to care for themselves. My 17-year old brother will join me at University of Texas Rio Grande this fall. My 16-year-old sister plans to follow in our footsteps. Unlike us, she is a citizen. If DACA is revoked and legislation for young immigrants is not passed, our family will be torn apart, but she’ll still be here. The burden is different for her, but it’s not any easier. Since that day at the bus stop, my family has been inseparable, leaning on one another when the odds were stacked against us. I want my siblings to feel courageous in the face of uncertainty, and yet, I often feel overwhelmed by the fear that my family may soon be fractured.Through DACA, I became a certified Pharmacy Technician and an EMT. I also volunteer in my church – the more I can help to build community, the more support we all have. I hope to one day become a general surgeon and provide medical care in third world countries. That day, I believe, will come, if I am able to continue my work and schooling in the United States.
Cristina is our #DreameroftheDay
Friday, April 20, 2018