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    Spring backward. #photoaday #flowerstagram #firstdayofspring #spring #lastofwinter ❄️❤️ So yesterday, I ran a poetry workshop at a middle school and hearing the words from these youth, I feel a lot better about the world. One boy wrote a poem & was very shy about reading it. I offered to read it for him. To my surprise, he wrote about people wanting freedom and not being “illegal.” I hope he finds the courage some day to read the poem because these days, hate voices itself louder than love. Our kids deserve better role models. I didn’t grow up thinking about my immigration status, but I think many children have to now. 💔I’m at a very low point in my hope bank. I’m taking notes on how to say goodbye to a country. I think one way is love and one way is poetry.
#loveislouder #happyworldpoetryday This Sunday I made it to church at a Unitarian Universalist congregation. I arrived as a panelist for an immigration and human rights discussion. My audience was majority White. I started with a poem and then my college journey narrative. It is a heavy feeling to be a person who potentially faces deportation or undocumented status and to stand in front of an audience that though sympathetic, cannot imagine what your world is like. They listened to me and the other panelists very actively. One of the panelists, Klara Bilgin, showed us this poster-size cover of Time magazine’s March issue with her own addition “Why America?” At the end I was surprised that most people had comments rather than questions. When we say immigration is a controversial issue or a “hot topic,” it’s true. I got to see it today by people commenting on their experience traveling abroad without borders or their observations of how much labor is expected of undocumented immigrants. Many of them were proposing solutions. I wish Congress were as productive as these people were in their 15 or so minutes to comment and ask questions. #rageatCongress #votesmart #speakup Little sister poem. Be woke.❤️ #ajamonet #poem
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1,000 miles: step 14

Last night,  watching las noticias, the news, via Univision, there was a segment that took my breath away. It was a brief report about the Residency Now campaign for Central Americans under the Temporary Protected Status. My heart started racing with that crazy flutter of wings from which hope learns to fly with.

I am the last cynic to break when it comes to immigration reform, but I can’t help to smile when I look at the effort my home country, El Salvador, started last year. Although I have taken an entire year to discover this campaign, the game is just beginning. Should you feel the need to satisfy your curiosity about the effort:

Visit ResidencyNow.org and sign the petition here. The petition is sent straight to your state senator. (Tim Kaine, that means you!)

Like many of the 270,000 Central Americans under the TPS program, my fate has always been uncertain. Having started college in 2011, the limitations of my legal status fully unraveled. Immigration reform is personal now. I can longer find comfort in my tongue being free of accents. I can no longer find comfort in living in my beloved Virginia. I can no longer feel at home in the country that has seen me grow up. I can no longer make the choices that count without consulting my legal status.

Once upon a time, my scholarly spirit saw no question about making it through 4 years of college. Today, that same spirit has lost its glow. I have to remind myself falling apart is no reason not to come back together. I am not a fighter. I am a student.  I live for learning. Education means the world to me. I didn’t start college after the 10th grade because of mere impatience.

I also can’t stay at a 2 year community college all my life. I want to go places. I want to know that opportunity is up to me, not a legal document. I want to be responsible for where I go in life. I want to dream. I want to rejoice in the hope that 2013 will be a year of concrete action for all immigrants.

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