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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 45

“Maybe my finger has never pulled the trigger of White supremist crime and violence

Still, I will forever be as guilty as my silence when the color of my skin

grants me privilege for those sins, the crime I do not stand against is as good as mine…”

–Andrea Gibson, “Bullets and Windchimes

I missed my political science lecture this past Tuesday to attend one of this year’s final protests for immigration reform in Washington, DC. Last April, I missed my favorite spring semester class, English Composition, for the same cause. My professor at that time had some interesting thoughts, something like “my silence in this capitalist society makes me culprit.”

The first impression most people get when they first meet me is that I’m a shy little thing… But it’s not social anxiety that keeps me quiet. I’m an observer. A listener. A notetaker. People are so internally complex— mentally, biologically, and emotionally. It fascinates me.

There are people who have really struck me as a mystery. People who seem to genuinely submit to an ideology of hate and ignorance. If I don’t have anything nice to say, I know to hold my tongue. I’ve held my silence many times:

  • at the condescending tone of a DMV representative for realizing I’m a Temporary Protected Status holder
  • at the sympathetic but never empathic words of “an ineligible for these benefits” phone call or letter
  • at the “words of wisdom” people try to offer even though they don’t know half of my struggles

Compared to other immigrants, my struggles have been few. And people in more difficult situations have overcome. I recognize, I can never feel pity for myself. It’s because I know how better off I am that the undocumented immigrant population matters to me.

It’s not just that a 7 year old little boy should have to stand in a crowd of strangers, on the verge of tears, to recount how he hasn’t seen and misses his deported dad. It’s not just for hardworking Latino high school graduates to quit their dreams because they’re ineligible for financial aid.

No, I don’t believe the 11 million will get justice. Maybe a tainted justice in the form of fees and paperwork. I don’t even believe in direct citizenship… simply the opportunity to get there some day. I’m content with permanent residency (which is all I’m asking after 12+ years of living in the U.S.). It would be reason enough to celebrate. If Congress could get its act together, actions for a “comprehensive immigration reform” would have been taken years ago.

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2013-10-08 14.52.272013-10-08 15.12.42

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